Norwich City Preview: Can Arsenal Cut The Mustard

The final home match of the season arrives today, Norwich City visiting The Emirates for the first time. They bring some uncomfortable memories with them having been Arsenal’s opponents in the first Premier League fixture back in 1992 with The Canaries flying away with a 4 – 2 victory, the second and so final league win at Arsenal. There was a certain symmetry with the rubble of the North Bank and the Arsenal back four that day. Perhaps we should have known things were going to go awry when one of the parachutists ended up disappearing into the building site. Still he had a banner for The Sun so it wasn’t all lost.

Today’s match has parallels with 1995/96; winning the last home game with Bolton was a pre-requisite to qualify for the Uefa Cup. That was achieved with Dennis Bergkamp’s strike; fast forward to this season and a win is imperative for third place. This fixture is – on paper – a routine home win. Norwich have lost seven of the last eleven. It is poor enough form for their comfortable mid-table position achieved through an exemplary team ethic, to have become a comfortable lower reaches position. This season has taught us that nothing is straightforward. If you need that emphasising, Norwich’s last win was at White Hart Lane.

But this is about Arsenal playing to the maximum of their potential, realising their ambitions. Mikel Arteta is missed, the domestic record in his absence is poor; Arsenal have not won without him in the team in a Premier League fixture since he joined. Talismanic the Spaniard may be; absent he definitely is. That record is bizarre and needs putting to rest. Whilst he will return next season, there are some in the first team – a number of the squad as well perhaps – who are very possibly featuring in an Arsenal shirt for the last time.

Amongst them, Yossi Benayoun made his sadness clear on Twitter. The Israeli has been a key player in recent months, adding a touch of guile to the attack and certainly different options on the left. Some deride him but I believe he is a good player to have in the squad and his experience cannot be easily dismissed. That said, I am not sure that Arsène will look to extend the deal or make it permanent in the summer. Much will depend on the movement of others with manager non-commital over the future of his strikers this summer. I can understand that players want to wait and see what offers come but to be honest there are seasoned internationals on the bench – Park will replace Diaby in the squad – who must surely place more value on their careers than their paycheques?

The situation is muddied with players such as Vela, Bendtner and Arshavin returning from loan. There is a surfeit of players for three places even before the arrival of Lukas Podolski. Arsenal do indeed love a striker, a pity that so few of them have been able to produce their best form on a consistent basis. It is an area of the team where I think there will be the majority of transfer activity this summer; the problem is that new homes have to be found for them before new blood can come into the club. When one of them tells his current employer that the club is not good enough for him, I am not convinced that will be an easy job. Still I am sure that nice Mr O’Neill sought clarification from the, um,confident Nicklas Bendtner.

Those are thoughts for another day. Back to this afternoon. Theo Walcott will in all likelihood not be fit until next weekend which seems likely to mean Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continuing in the side. On the left, there is a conundrum for the manager. Gervinho’s directness was a thorn in the side of Stoke last weekend and with Norwich possessing a similar liking for the wider areas of the pitch as the team from The Potteries, the Ivorian may get a nod over the more thoughtful Benayoun. Either could make a strong case for inclusion.

Overall, it is hard to see many changes for Arsenal, if any:

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Rosicky, Song, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, van Persie, Gervinho

Talk of contracts becomes more intense as the summer approaches. Arsène’s self-imposed deadline of resolving Robin van Persie’s situation before the commencement of Euro2012 seems optimistic. The Dutchman offered little clue as to his future, proferring the view that he would always be a ‘Gunner’ wherever he was in the world and wherever his career takes him. A turn of phrase that is as ambiguous as it is non-commital. Quietly this has taken the pressure from Theo Walcott who is in a similar situation. The young England international has not engaged with the club over his future, perhaps (understandably) waiting for new signings and some clarity in the Summer.

In what shape or form that will arrive for either of them is unclear; whatever, as long as the club resolve the issues quickly and efficiently. Neither is irreplaceable but situations need to be handled effectively to ‘spin’ the situation as favourably as possible. Obviously it is ideal if both sign – and I suspect they will – giving the squad a great platform to take their challenge to the next level. By coincidence today’s Arsenal On This Day revisits 1958, a time when the club imposed their pay scales onto the players, paying them at the value they deemed fair which is something demanded now.

But it is the result which is important; performance is not so long as the outcome is three points to Arsenal. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 5, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 636 Comments.

  1. Geoff Hurst!

  2. Hmmm

  3. This is really early Yogi

  4. Thanks for reminding us that we have been shit without Arteta yogi..still Norwich are surely on the beach by now….mind you so were stoke. should ave won that game as they couldnt nae be arsed.

  5. Bradys right foot

    I’d love Yossi to stay he is a fantastic team player with genuine quality and is good enough to be playing week in week out at a very good club. If he was offered the chance to stay it would be as a squad player and i get the feeling he wants game time whatever happens in the summer and im sure well get distracted by the headlines of more high profile players, i’ll never forget Yossi’s contribution at Stoke, Villa and against the Spuds. If you had a squad with the attitude of Yossi you’d be “invincible” i’ll misss you Yossi.

  6. That epl voting shit is a scam, its too biased cough*man utd fans * cough. De gea? Valencia? Republic of ass wipes?.
    Yogi you da man, you know we got love for you and this blog.

  7. Win today please, though it’s still Friday here at DC Dulles airport.

  8. Why not have Benayoun in the midfield over Ramsey?

  9. We could do without Ramsey today. Put in Benayoun in his place, Ramsey can come on late. We need to get the goals early.

  10. My head says stick in the Coq in place of Ramsey, we just dont look menacing for the past 3matches. Alternatively use Rosicky for the Arteta role and let Yossi play CAM, in which case we can count on the directness and guile of Gervinho and the Ox on the wing. Just a thought. And VP to score a hatrick in his last homegame for Arsenal!

  11. Bloody hell. The game is 430 am California time. The things we do for the ARSENAL.
    come on three points.
    UP. THE. GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Four Thirty? Pah? That post was done at midnight because I had to get up at 7am on a Saturday to catch a train in time for a poxy lunchtime kick-off. Half a century ago, there was a full league programme kicking off at the same time as the FA Cup Final. And it was transmitted live. Didn’t stop people supporting their own clubs in the grounds!

  13. YW,

    I agree that there si a need to sort out our current 25 before buying. Arsene made it clear in his Arsenal Player interview this week that Podolski was the only certainty as an acquisition because we have the likes of Jack and Diaby coming back plus our current first team players and new striker. That means unless we shift players on from specific positions, I doubt we will be seeing any more major additions this summer.

    Personally, I think this season has been a protracted pre-season with a quicly assembled squad finding the ‘team’ in them. Add Wilshere and Diaby to that mix and let go of some of the loanees (also allowing for potential additions) and only good things can come next season. It would be good if we can include a full blown assault on the Champion’s League as part of that.

    Norwich have the advantage of playing with no pressure and that is a factor that should not be underestimated. Yet, I have little doubt that we will get the result we need to make our ambitions possible.

    COYG

  14. The Real Stew Black

    I’m such a twat. I’ve got a meeting today which I pulled forward to 1pm in order to ensure I’ll be back in time for the match.
    Did no one think to tell e it kicked off early? Bastards.
    Good to see the scapegoating of Rambo continues unabated. Won’t be happy until he’s hounded out of the club I assume?

  15. Big game today, first goal will be key, I think if we get one early then we may see us relax and remove the handbrake. The longer that goes on the more frustration or mistakes might creep in but we’ve definitely got the team to get a win today. I’d probably put Ox on the right and Gerv on the left given Ox likes to come central.

    In terms of the 25, who out of the loanees would you sell?

    Then surely Squid, Manuel, Denilson must go, be interesting to see what we do with miquel and bartley next season, miquel for me could do with a loan in the premier league.

  16. you mean as they hounded Deni and AA. Some idiots will never ever learn.Aaron will prove them wrong and so will AA when he is back at the club. Then the idiots will eat humble pie galore. Hell, Aaron is our future captain, the way I see it.

  17. YW, good luck with the voting for the best blog and as far as supporting, almost thirty years on and I have never waivers and been a true fan. Here’s. Hoping for another thirty or so years.

  18. mattgoonerknight

    Morning all

    Going today so absolutely buzzing and bricking it in equal measure: the perfect footballing experience concoction.

    LG

    I’ll send it off next week. I’m not sure about sending the log-in details (they could just delete / end the petition) but I think you can download a list of signatories, so I’ll try to attach it to the email.

    TheRealStewBlack, Kam

    Calm down guys! I’ve not read anything grossly disparaging about Rambo today, just that given the choice some would rather see Le Coq or Benny start – hardly hounding him out.

    Obviously we’ll all agree with whatever line-up the boss chooses (to do otherwise is sacrilege), but just for the record, if you could be Arsene for the day, who would you both select?

    Personally, I see the inclusion of Benny, an in form, experienced, calm, big game operator, in the Ramsey role as a good shout. We may only have him for two more games, while Ramsey, a potential future captain, will be with us for years to come, so why the rush and unnecessary pressure?

    But what do I know? I always get the line-ups wrong, but still also think it’s quite fun having a guess, you know, just like YW does every match.

  19. Line up

    . WOJO
    BAC. KOSHER. TV. SANTOS

    . ALEX

    . TOMAS Aaron

    RVP. CHAMACRONY. 3GS

    BENY and Gibbs and OX. To come in for. 3gs ,Santos. And. RVP. in the second. Half.
    3-0. to the GUNNERS…..

  20. mattgoonerknight

    kam

    Respect for being different and not sitting on the fence, but I fear even the boss would have to justify that starting front three should we fail to win.

    I think PG’s words the other day regarding line-ups and Fifa12 are definitely applicable here! 🙂

  21. BEN YON is most effective on the left wing. I have seen him try but not succeed as an attacking central mid. AA would be. Fantastic in that role and so would Jack. Hopeful to see this in the next campaign. I really can’t wait for next year. I have a very strong feeling that it could very well be the year we win the league.

  22. I PLAY THE REAL THING ,not the video version of the same. Much more fun.

  23. What was it he said??

  24. mattgoonerknight

    Kam?

    I don’t doubt you play REAL football mate, your team selection however lacks a sense of realism, hence my reference to the virtual form of the game. Capiche?

    COYG

  25. arsenalandrew

    Gutted it’s the last home game already – where did that season go?

    Heading off for a precautionary breakfast before making my way to the Home of Football …

    Good luck everyone – GO ARSENAL!!!

  26. I hope PAT RICE. gets the warmest and the. Best send off by the home fans today. Fitting for a loyal ,hard working and all around best right hand man, any coach could wish for. Thank you beforehand and this I say with the belief that his family and his health will probably win out over his love for this club. I think we May very well have another person in his position next year.

  27. The Real Stew Black

    Hi Matt – sorry won’t calm down whether you read anything innocuous in today’s comments or not. It’s all part of the negativity, scapegoating and piss poor supporting. Today we just had two more small bricks in the wall.
    Can’t understand why you as a fan would single us out for calling them on their negativity. Doesn’t it piss you off to see people chipping away at our players in public?

  28. MGK – pack it in – coming round here and showing off with your ‘common sense’ and reasoned thoughts.

    Nobody is impressed and it won’t be tolerated.

  29. At. Our players and coaching staff and whomever else becomes flavor of the month.

  30. Stay of ESPN today. They are spending half the day building up to the FA Cup final. Dross

    Come on Arsenall

  31. Right. Not even worthy of a dignified response. You have the monopoly on common sense.

  32. looking for tickets for today.

    Need two, will take any.

    Paddy – 07955548025

    Cheers.

  33. good preview Yogi, i also hop the ox will start coz i love watching that boy play and also gervinho

  34. we hop the jinx of end season poor form will not catch up with us this time round and we end up 3rd, above sp*rs and Newcastle.

  35. Patrick

    You should try twitter @arsenal_tickets

  36. Limestonegunner

    Good points on summer business YW. We picked the same team! Hope this is the group and they take it to Norwich in a blaze of goal scoring fury!

  37. Limestonegunner

    Thanks Mattgooner for sending that in and for taking the initiative to set it up with my letter. Let’s hope it does some good and please do post any reply or response from the club.

    I thought about Coquelin for Ramsey but decided to go all out in attack.

    Norwich are leading the Pl in long balls. I didn’t say they weren’t attacking–they do like to attack. They do so using many long balls. Khalifah, you need to pay more attention to words and their meanings!

  38. There are 2 ways of looking at Norwich today. Either they are on the beach and will put in a lazy performance making it easier for us or they will be super relaxed and will play like they have nothing to lose and catch us out. But then again we also know this Arsenal team has a bit of jekel and hyde about them. Depending on which Arsenal team turns up will also have a say. If its the lacklustre one then we are in for a frustrating afternoon. But if its the one that beat Milan 3-nil then no matter which Norwich turns up we will win comfortably.

    I hope the crowd plays its part today too. The Chelski game seemed a bit flat from the fans.

    Three cheers for Pat Rice. What a servant to our club. Why do board members get busts cast and bridges called after them when they havent done half the things Pat has done as player and coach?

  39. arsenalandrew

    Just standing outside the ground now, waiting for my Dad who’s not been for a few years. He’s in his 80’s and remembers when fans – home and away – would gather round the old Highbury stadium which, in its day, was considered ‘state of the art’. Even though I can only see at best about 1/7th of the stadium before it arcs off gracefully away from the eye-line, it’s the realisation I can only see this fraction of the place that makes it such an awesome venue.

    It is almost a living, breathing museum as the club has given full rein to the most spectacular depiction of the club’s entire history. And everywhere, fans of all ages, regardless of club loyalties, eagerly have their pictures taken with the awesome backdrop the real star of the photos.

    Dad’s just arrived – should be a great game!

  40. Limestone, okay, okay. Geez!

  41. Rambo to start in the mid with song and Rosicky. Benny has been ineffective when playing in the mid, he is better suited to start out wide. I have seen him play 3 matches or so this season in the cent mid and each time we look like we look like we loose the midfield battle. i assume if you ask him his preferred position, he would choose wide.

    Rambo is the other hand is a natural CM, he is looking like he is gradually finding his feet again. this looks like the kind of game where he could score. i have strong belief that he could turn out to be a 15 goal a season midfielder, i look at him as a young Gerrard, a leader (captain of wales at 21) and a goal scoring midfielder. I don’t think he would get to Cesc’s numbers in assists but would thump him with goals as he knows how to time his runs into the box and whack a shot.

    SCZ
    Sagna TV Kos Gibbs
    Song Rambo
    Rosicky
    Gervinho RVP Benny

  42. Steww @ 10.06am,
    It really does, it pisses me the fuck out

  43. Arsenal have released the team sheet, my prediction was sopt on. YW i think i deserve a price don’t you ???

  44. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, go man go!

    You deserve this

  45. im with you jeff on this lineup

    Szcz
    Sagna TV Kos Gibbs
    Song Rambo
    Rosicky
    Gervinho RVP Benny

  46. Clerkenwell Goooner

    Musical plea to AFC for today:

    Don’t Go Backwards, The Record Players, 1978. Groovy bass-playing.

  47. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, it did not work out.

    May 3rd and ‘holic was referring to your twitter reminding him of a 41st anniversary ….

    ‘holic writes a good story, even I am the most irregular, absentee, impermanent follower of said blogger.

  48. @Limestone, okay, okay, Geez!, you know words can get lost in translation, you mentioned they were ‘long ball merchants’ so i assumed you meant ‘Long ball merchants’.
    Arsenalandrew, wow, that was deep, almost brought a tear to my eye .

  49. @Limestone, okay, okay, Geez!, you know words can get lost in translation, you mentioned they were ‘long ball merchants’ so i assumed you meant ‘Long ball merchants’ – i may have been mistaken.
    Arsenalandrew, wow, that was deep, almost brought a tear to my eye .

  50. Limestone, okay, okay, Geez! – i watched a couple of norwich matches and they are no longball merchants, today will prove it, i hope 🙂

  51. It seems like united have signed Kagawa from Dortmund for next season!

  52. @Limestone, okay, okay, Geez! – i watched a couple of norwich matches and they are no longball merchants, today will prove it, i hope 🙂

  53. Limestonegunner

    RvP with both his player of the year trophies photographed on the pitch. Let it be an inspiration to you RvP, a brace and an assist for you today!

    COYG!! Red run riot!

  54. Limestonegunner

    Yossi Benayoun!! Fantastic!

  55. Limestonegunner

    Pure class, that curler into the corner.

  56. Awesome goal! YES!

  57. Great post as per norm YW – We have to retain services of Yossi..

  58. Limestonegunner

    Just what we needed. Get off to a fast start and taking pressure off RvP to score.

  59. Also another assist for the Rosicky! Makes me double happy!

  60. The Real Stew Black

    Sign him up Arsene!

  61. Limestonegunner

    Hopefully we keep pouring it on. The worst thing would be to get complacent or lose concentration defensively. I suspect, actually it is going to make everyone rather hungry for goals, feeling maybe a big score is possible if they score again soon.

  62. BennytheGoon!

    Unfortunately I am stuck in NW London near Webbly. Duty calls.
    Come on Arsenal, give PR the send off he deserves.

  63. The Real Stew Black

    Crikey – good block from Gibbs. Thought that was 1 – 1

  64. Limestonegunner

    Sian Massey is the best sideline ref.

  65. well done gunners, but we must not drop our level, retain possession cos norwich are seeing too much of it now

  66. well done gunners, but we must not drop our level, retain possession cos norwich are seeing too much of it now

  67. Damn it, norwich equalize, we need to get control of this match.

  68. Well, Szcz’s very first proper howler. But we will come back from it. COYG!

  69. well there we are, gave them much too much room to play and too much possession.

    Come on gunners!

  70. The Real Stew Black

    Fair play that’s been coming. Since the goal Norwich have played well. Long way to go still.

  71. Limestonegunner

    Time for a show of character and from the supporters. They’ve grown quiet–get some vocal support going, fellas! The team needs you.

  72. The Real Stew Black

    A little disjointed, a few misunderstandings. Evidence of what Arteta and Theo bring us, we miss them when they’re gone.
    Having said all that I believe the players out there are plenty good enough.It’ll come.

  73. Am I the only one who feels an inexplicable rush of excitement whenever Rosicky gets on the ball? I always have the feeling with him that he can create something out of nothing.

  74. Theres no way Norwich can keep up with this level of closing down and running for 90 mins, i expect them to drop after 60 mins, but we are not playing very well, need to pick up the pace.

  75. A little concerning to see Norwich completely outplaying us to this point. The midfield still looks out of sorts with no Arteta.

  76. The Real Stew Black

    Norwich are doing well. Closing and pressing high up the pitch and committing lots of men forward when they have the ball.
    A little guile, a bit more pace in our attack and we should find room behind them.

  77. This game needs arterta

  78. Too many static players i reckon, more movement and faster passing, Come on Gunners! theres a CL place at risk here.

  79. Limestonegunner

    Unbelievable! Well, now even more of a test of character.

  80. it was coming people…………….2-1 to norwich

  81. The Real Stew Black

    As we start putting them under they look brittle. We need to work as hard off the ball as they are.

  82. Are we really doing this? We look completely out of sorts. Midfield and back line getting pulled all over the place. I know that was a wicked deflection, but the build up that we allowed was worrying…wow!

  83. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Aaarrrrghhhhh!

  84. The Real Stew Black

    Fuck you lot must be way ahead of my stream. It’s still 1 – 1

  85. Limestonegunner

    Ah, just ahead of RvP!! But Kos is down still. Ankle, again.

  86. The Real Stew Black

    Oh I see. What a jammy goal. Just as we were getting back into the game. Ah well, we’ve come back from worse positions.

  87. Looks like Wenger is going to have to shake them up considerably at the half…we just seem completely out of it…Come On You Gunners!

  88. Limestonegunner

    We just need to get it even at the half. That’s the goal now. We can do it.

    Sagna has injured himself; looks bad.

  89. Fuck…temporary cast on Sagna as he goes off…

  90. Limestonegunner

    Coquelin on for Sagna.

  91. The Real Stew Black

    Don’t like the look of this.

  92. The Real Stew Black

    Where’s Jenks?

  93. Disgraceful attitude from our players so far. They’ve just walked out on to the pitch expecting Norwich to roll over for us. Norwich most certainly deserve their lead so far, fluke goals or not.

  94. The Real Stew Black

    Well if he booked Rambo when he barely touched the bloke how is that not a yellow?

  95. Replay of the deflected goal shows our midfield just letting runners go completely in the buildup totally exposing our back line…they need to step their game up and fast.

  96. Limestonegunner

    Well it is all set up for a heroic comeback. We’ve done nothing the easy way this season, so it would be appropriate.

  97. Limestonegunner

    Stew, you are supposed to be unfailingly positive! Don’t stop now, we need your optimistic confidence.

    Ah, Gibbs, so close.

  98. The Real Stew Black

    You fucking psychic are you Bobo? You can actually tell what our lads are thinking. Get behind the team and stop whining.

  99. injuries starting to pile up again. Hamstrings ankles. Sagna and Theo were really strong during our 7 game win streak. Right now we don’t look very good. Hopefully we can it together. Defense has been all over the place. Norwich certainly deserve their lead to this point. Come on guys you are better then this.

  100. The Real Stew Black

    Limestone – I meant Bac’s injury doesnt look good. We will step up our game I’m certain.

  101. Limestonegunner

    Benny losing a bit of composure there. Boys need to use their heads and not get frustrated. This is still early and Norwich have a habit of giving up lots of goals.

  102. The Real Stew Black

    We’ve lost players who were in top form and the replacements lack form and or confidence. Plus Norwich have played very well. That’s all.
    Nothing to cry about, we have the quality to turn things around.

  103. Getting a bit chippy now but we are starting to look a little more dangerous

  104. I think it’s pretty obvious who’s up for this game and who’s not Stew. The team winning right now seem to be playing pretty well, putting in 100%, the team losing aren’t. If you can’t see it then I can’t help you.

  105. Limestonegunner

    Good, Stew! My apologies; it did stun me, so I should have known! But we certainly are going to have to play better. Norwich look constantly dangerous and threatening.

  106. The Real Stew Black

    Starting to get deeply concerned by some of these decisions. they should have had a penalty and that was never a foul by Kosser. Hate crap/inconsistent officials.The game is tense enough without that distraction.

  107. Its not the defence anyway, its the midfield infront of it is not tracking back, or maybe the speed in which Norwich is swtiching from defense to attack is catching out our players, If they hoof the ball up to Holt when our players are attacking then they have a good chance of catching most of our midfielders too far from the defense, hence why it works.

  108. Kos got away with one there. Clearly a penalty.

  109. Limestonegunner

    Koscielny is playing very dangerously. That was a big shirt pull and I am amazed we haven’t given up a penalty. He’s normally very cool and collected, so you can tell the boys are very frustrated. Patience and no panic. Play our game and we’ll get back in this.

  110. So bizarre to see this display with how important this game is for us.

  111. The Real Stew Black

    Obviously I meant the foul near the touchline. My stream is way slow, they should have had two pens now.

  112. The Real Stew Black

    watch the yes channel, thats up to date

  113. Limestonegunner

    Rosicky is the key. He is creating the chances with his wonderful turns, dribbles past and between and lovely passes.

  114. Limestonegunner

    ridiculous yellow–perfect tackle from Vermaelen.

  115. What an incompetent c*nt of a referee. RVP foul not called but the next moment TV gets the ball cleanly and it’s a foul and a yellow card.

  116. The Real Stew Black

    Terrible refereeing. Surely Vermaelen took the ball clean as a whistle.

  117. Limestonegunner

    Last ditch from Kos. Poor from the Arsenal supporters booing. Disgusting. Get a grip! The boys need a lift.

  118. Un-fucking-believable how easily they are picking us apart at the back…wow! Something needs to change and fast…Come on Wenger…shake them up at half…we need some inspiration. I would feel confident of a comeback if the team was showing some great signs, but we just look flat.

  119. The Real Stew Black

    Shameful hearing booing in our own stadium. They should have their tickets taken off them and given to some real supporters.
    Oh and their heads put on spikes outside the ground.
    Just saying.

  120. Spot on Stew – great tackle.

  121. The booing really is pathetic after everything that has taken place this season…I don’t see how that helps at all.

  122. What a display. We really need to get our sh*t together in the second half. We are playing for third, this match is massively important. I want to see each and everyone out there fighting. Having such an inconsistent referee doesn’t make it better, too. Coquelin gets scythed the moment he comes on the pitch and it’S nothing, but Vermaelen gets a yellow for a picture perfect tackle? Though I do concede that they should’ve had one penalty for the Koscielny shirt pull. We got away with that there.

  123. We are so screwed!

  124. They are nervous. Let’s send out calming vibes.

  125. And what the f*ck is up with that booing? The support has been woeful. The performance from the support has been even worse than the on-field display so how dare they boo? They need to get their sh*t together, too and f*cking support the boys. We need to win this, there is no way around it.

  126. I thought that was a brilliant tackle by Vermaelen as well. If that were a big English CB the pundits would have creamed themselves and talked about nothing other than how he got the ball no matter how aggressive the tackle.

  127. Awful refereeing.. They clash into our players n get nothin.. Any bit of agression from us is a yellow.. sucks.. hope arsene can cool the guys down n to up the tempo…

  128. Miami Arsenal

    Could our midfield look anymore tired and uninterested?

  129. It really is amazing to see how out of sync the team look without Arteta serving as the platform to build play and dictate the pace.

  130. We seriously need to sort our act out in the 2nd half. Playing shite and defending like schoolboys.

    Wenger rarely loses his cool in the dressing room; this would be a good time to do so, some of our players are really not at the races and need a kick up the arse.

  131. this is just the kind of match where the referee not blowing to contain excessive agression could lead to the match goin out of control..

  132. I can’t bear it, am watching the match on mute – we lack structure right now, i saw someone saying we need more movement, we don’t!, the players should do the basics first, defend properly then attack, also is it just me or anytime a norwich player plays a ball out we get countered.

  133. Tired?

    Maybe them not getting the pen is all a part of evening things up?

  134. I think we should drop Ramsey for the OX…move the Ox to the attacking mid role and drop Rosicky back to the Arteta role…he has the experience to handle it better than Ramsey at this point.

  135. @Paul-N
    If Norwich get another clear cut 10 penalty appeals turned down in the second half, then it might actually be even for the season!

  136. Attack wise we are not creating enough options for the man with the ball..

  137. *10 clear cut penalty appeals …

  138. Very true, midfield goes missing without Arteta/ Wilshere, Upto the boss to sort it out.

    COYG!

  139. Actually everytime the ball is kicked out of their defense we dont put enough pressure on their front man who coolly lays it off to the runners.

  140. I know it Evil!

  141. I also think we underestimate the impact Walcott has on the game…even when he is not that involved he is constantly on the defenders’ minds and it changes how teams set up against us.

  142. I don’t agree that a lack of Arteta is the problem. The team looks tired and we are not playing well, all over the field. The players on the pitch are good enough.

  143. No, i actually feel ramsey has done well, the problem is the lack of cohesion in the midfield, song should stay back permanently, we are getting countered constantly and the defence is left on its own – if possible reduce the highline, too much space behind and then maybe we can get our passing game on track.

  144. Limestonegunner

    Can/should anything be done tactically? The weak area has been in midfield and how it combines with flank play apart from Rosicky, who I think has played well. Maybe the Ox for Ramsey who is on a yellow? Or for Gervinho who has been uneven, but could still create the key chance. Not sure. Any thoughts?

    Or do these same guys just need to focus and come out strong? Certainly would like these boys to get back into the groove but perhaps there is a bit of a problem with creating good chances and keep RvP involved. He’s had some touches and a couple of chances but he should be tearing up that back line which has conceded a huge number of goals. Not creating the dangerous balls in and around the box. Would be great if someone could score something from a bit of distance, Rosicky, Ramsey, the Ox?

    Come on lads! You can do it!

  145. Well they got lucky with the deflected goal so I guess that evens it out.. 🙂

  146. If we need to win, the key is to get an early goal say withing 10 minutes of the start.

  147. Looks like the pressure’s getting to us. Too many misplaced passes, and we’re getting gung ho too soon, leaving so much space for counter attack.
    We should be calmer in the middle, but we’re not.
    We have enough talent to win this match. But we can’t afford to let in another goal. Thank goodness the refs blunders have favoured us so far or we could easily be 2 or 3 goals down.

    COYG. We NEED this win.

  148. Even our young goalie looks full of nerves.

  149. I think ramsey has been one of our better players today,chezzer should have done better with the first goal. We lose today and we may be out of cl.come on guys we really need to win this.

  150. Harrow Gooner

    We just need a bit of luck

  151. Ox on for Gerv or AR if we don’t get a goal in the next 10 minutes

  152. Come on arsenal.

  153. Chris Eals on Twitter: “Arsenal could be in 5th place by dinner time tomorrow, maybe someone needs to point this out to the players?”

    wow is this true? i just saw this on the bbc feed.

  154. Limestonegunner

    Where are our players getting in the box? RvP with two crosses. Everyone expects him to cross and put it in both?!

  155. Trying too many hero passes.

  156. Harrow Gooner

    Moe, how could you not know that?

  157. yes, after that first half our players need a lift. The kind of lift created by Wenger’s boot being applied up their arses for one of the piss-poorest performances seen.

    Some of the performances in that half you’d swear we were comfortable and packing for the holidays.

    Bluntly, if the players couldn’t give a fuck, why should the fans?

    Sorry, after that shower of shit in the first half oohs and aaahs aren’t good enough for near misses.

  158. Lets all calm down for fuck sake, breath.

  159. Ramsey needs o get ahold of himself…last thing we can do is deal with being down a man now.

  160. Limestonegunner

    Ramsey’s first wasn’t a yellow, so you figure this evens it out because that was an obvious yellow card.

  161. Yeh MikeSA, the players don’t care. I am sure that is it.

  162. Limestonegunner

    MikeSA, still pretty piss poor to boo. If AW bollocks them that is fine by me but if you are in the ground, you’ve got one job to do. Kos was definitely pulled down, so that evens it up. Benayoun’s header just not placed where it can do damage.

  163. We have been poor but not as bad as the commentary is suggesting… Basically we need to win this game and the last game period,…anything less will be not good enough’ Fortune favours the brave , a fat lady and a dodgy refereeing decision.COYG!

  164. Well, it has evened out because that on Koscielny should’ve been a penalty, too.

  165. But it’s funny how everyone, even the commentators, ignore the pulling and holding on Koscielny, but they can’t stop talking about what happened on the other end. C*nts.

  166. Ramsey looks out on his feet…lethargic…uninspired…we are getting shredded…what the fuck am I watching right now.

  167. Harrow Gooner

    Norwich can play a bit

  168. Limestonegunner

    We are all over the place at the back. We could be down 4-1 playing like this.

    Time to make some changes. The boys are flailing.

    How RvP and Ramsey couldn’t score there. Bring on the Ox.

  169. Hahahahaha, this is comedy

  170. What the fuck is going on here?

  171. Ramsey needs to go off. The midfield has been awful. Bring on the Ox and shift Benayoun in the middle!

  172. Well PaulN, three players, Benayoun, Song and Ramsey all ambling back at the pace of jizz dribbling down a slut’s leg to allow the second goal, do you really think the players are showing care and concern? cos I sure as fuck don’t.

  173. Limestonegunner

    Stew! Stew!…. I am finding it hard to see a light at the end of this deep dark long tunnel. Come on Arsenal! Here comes the Ox for Ramsey.

  174. Harrow Gooner

    Why does the time go so quickly in these situations

  175. Limestonegunner

    Good call, Ateeb.

  176. I guess i got my answer. We have the Norwich playing with nothing to lose team and the lacklustre Arsenal team playing nervously with everything to lose………

  177. So in the last two matches, extremely important matches, the players make up their minds not to care?

    I don’t like what I am seeing either but come on.

  178. Limestonegunner

    RvP flashes wide–just not going in for him the same way. Hopefully he’ll get more chances and bury them. but nothing is going in. More chances again. But at least we are getting ahold of the game.

  179. So fuckin close from Vermaelen…wow.

  180. Can we play Podolski now?

  181. 3 goals to come from us now! Come on Arsenal!

  182. Why are we allowing these guys so many chances?

    This is Norwich, not Barca-fucking-lona!

  183. Limestonegunner

    Chamakh coming on. Maybe he can knock something in the box. But no one is crossing in. Ox needs to play wide with Gervinho wide, no more crowding the middle–leave the space for Chamakh and the Ox.

  184. Limestonegunner

    God bless you RvP!!!!

  185. Two more now! Fucking come on!

  186. RVP yes!

  187. How many times…Song to RVP…priceless.

  188. I remember GA trying to minimize Song’s passes to RVP. That is class!

  189. Another sand wedge chip assist from Song

  190. Yes PaulN, exactly that, we’ve seen it before.

    fuck the the sugar coating, call it what it is.

    Some of the players do care, but enough don’t to fuck us over.

    Now we need another.

  191. It might have just scared everyone in the neighbourhood with my frantic yelling. F*cking get in.

  192. Come on boys – one more.

  193. F@cking get in RVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a pass from Songaldinho!

  194. Clerkenwell Gooner

    RRRRRRVVVVVPPPPPPPPPP!

    Come on, make it 5-2, and I mean us, not Norwich, with 5!

  195. Chamakh…so close…keep it down son…that would have been such sweet redemption

  196. We’re in deficit for penalty calls in this game now.

  197. Finally song shows why he should be an arsenal player, fuckers!

  198. You are obviously right MikeSA. Lets move on.

  199. Should have been a pen!

  200. Limestonegunner

    Okay, we can officially complain about that penalty not given now. Song losing his cool. don’t break the momentum or get sent off!!!

    Let’s get another; plenty of time if we don’t lose our heads and get distracted by the little things. Absolute determination to creat some good chances. Play our game.

  201. Limestonegunner

    Why should Norwich settle for a draw. It’s meaningless at this point. Hope they go for the win

    RvP!!!!!!!!!!!!

  202. Van the Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  203. Limestonegunner

    Brace for our Hero!!!!!

  204. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Come on! 3-2!!!!

    RVP hat-trick, pleeeaaasseeeee!

  205. Goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  206. Thank God we started to care!

  207. I FUCKING LOVE THIS TEAM! YES!!!!!!!!!!!

  208. The Real Stew Black

    Ahem,

  209. Come on, another one, now.

  210. Limestonegunner

    Now, hold on Arsenal! And this would be the perfect, fitting match that reproduces and encapsulates this season in one game!

  211. @Paul
    Yeah, funny how the players “didn’t care” for 60 minutes and now just suddenly started to care.

  212. Thank you Lord, am shitting my pants here.

  213. RVP….who else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Take a bow son…….30 and counting

  214. Limestonegunner

    Frankly, Chamakh coming on and RvP playing behind him has made a big difference.

    Hope we get another and calm everyone’s nerves. Not time to sit back but control and make Norwich defend too.

  215. Oh Coquelin…not the place for that son…

  216. Please keep going for it, boys. Sitting back doesn’t suit us.

  217. Limestonegunner

    This is end to end and killing me.

  218. Limestonegunner

    My God! How, How How!?!?!?!?!?

  219. yes PaulN, it’s called getting a sense of purpose, some drive, some determination.

  220. What the hell was that about!

  221. What the fuck are we doing? We got the goal but are still all over the place…

  222. Doing our very best to lose this 3rd spot arent we……..

  223. Limestonegunner

    That was a chance, oh my–come on Arsenal, still some time!

  224. There is time to win this, COYR!!!

  225. Limestonegunner

    Another penalty not given! How did RvP not it in, except that he was tripped!

  226. that was a pen

  227. Clear push for pen…no call…are you fuckin kidding me

  228. THREE FUCKING PENALTIES DENIED. YES IT EVENS OUT!

  229. gerv was offside when the cross came in though

  230. That was the worst call I’ve ever seen. RVP scores without the push. F*cking c*nt.

  231. Limestonegunner

    Saying Gervinho was offside, so it shouldn’t have been allowed. But he didn’t touch it, so….

    Song deserved a goal there. Great reaction save from Ruddy. I am dying here. Come on lads.

  232. The Real Stew Black

    What a brilliant game. Amazing stuff.

  233. Shit like this make me want to believe in the Illuminati. Fuck!

  234. Limestonegunner

    I don’t know if it is brilliant but it certainly is amazing.

  235. Limestonegunner

    Ox takes a pop. Good idea. Last chances!!!! How did Ruddy stop it. Oh, OH!

  236. I can t believe what I have just seen…how do we not have a fourth

  237. Limestonegunner

    Two points dropped. Have to hope now. Come on City; Come on Villa.

  238. Cross fingers now.

  239. Wow…we could have just pissed away the champs league with that first half performance.

  240. F*ck me, how didn’t we score the fourth??? Oh my god …

  241. bye bye 3rd

  242. Not good enough today.

    .

  243. 20 minutes of drive, 70 minutes of shit.

    If we don’t get a CL place we can only look in the mirror. If we can’t beat Norwich at home what about WBA away?

  244. disgusting

  245. Limestonegunner

    We can finish fifth even if we win at WB–very sad, we needed this game. Prayers for City, Villa, Blackburn and Everton now.

  246. The Real Stew Black

    Fantastic game cant fault our effort nor that of Norwich. That really had it all, and so very nearly the winner at the end. Appalling referee but he missed two penalties for both sides so I suppose that was at least even.
    Just a shame the season has to end with entertainment like that.

  247. We have well and truly fucked that up.

    A mixture of bad finishing, poor defending, some good saves and some bad refereeing has cost us there. If we could defend we would not be discussing any of the other points though.

  248. Aston Villa has won only 1 game in the last 15 matches…………

  249. Oh dear. That was just one of those games. We tried so hard in the end but concedeing the poor equaliser in the end was the clincher. Now it is out of our hands. We have to hope Newcastle and spurs drop points and Chelsea loose in the Champions league final

  250. Clerkenwell Gooner

    So, so disappointed. I just don’t understand.

  251. Once again we lose a game we should be in control of through a combination of poor, naïve defending, and ref blunders. The latter we can do nothing about, but we should be defending much, much better than that. In fact it looked like their defending was better and less shaky than ours at some point. 3rd place out of our hands now. We need our rivals to drop points.

    But eish, it was a good game (for a neutral) eh? End to end stuff, especially in the second half.

  252. pedantic george

    Absolutely gutted

  253. Can’t believe we bottled this, why o fucking why

  254. The team played full of nerves from the start. When we got the 3rd goal we should have secured the back and catch them on the counter. Very dissapointed to be honest.

  255. And the answer is: No, not today Yogi’s, they couldn’t cut the mustard…

    Now we sit and wait hoping that the Spuds and NC draw or lose their games like we seem to always do, wait for others to fail.

  256. *…lose points…

  257. Limestonegunner

    Sacrifice your first borns, do voodoo, witch’s curses, satanic anti-masses, hexes on Newcastle and Spuds. Dodgy Lasagne time. Find out the hotels for the final away matches of those teams and see what you can do there in England.

    Call in the priests, the rabbis, the imams, the buddhist monks, yogis and gurus, and the shamans. It’s out of our hands and we need some cosmic powers now.

  258. Harrow Gooner

    What the fuck just happened.

  259. What i do not understand is why Schez did not even try to save the 3rd one. Off day for him today

  260. Forget the ref, we went ahead within two minutes, that should have spurred us on but we still played nervy.

  261. Bradys right foot

    We were awful first half and missed 4 great chances to make it 4 so please don’t take this as an excuse for possibly the worst 1st half of the season but we did enough to win the game however the referee decided that the laws of the game don’t apply to AFC. That was one of the most curious refereeing performances I have ever witnessed. Two very clear and obvious stonewall penaltys denied, Yes there were probably another two clear shouts but i’m talking about penaltys so clear that any doubt is removed.The Ludy handball and the shove on RVP from two yards out who misses an open goal how on earth were they not given, anyone who doesn’t think were being shafted WAKE THE FUCK UP.

  262. Koscielny was very solid in defence apart from the shirt pull, but Vermaelen’s positioning was off at times. Too often not covering Holt. But I feel the big problem was that our midfield seemed to be a tad too much offensive minded and that allowed Norwich to have too much space in between half way line and our box. They could always get their passes away, those dangerous over the top ones when they are on the counter, and we looked utterly weak against them. Szcz also with a game he’d rather want to forget. Offensively I think that our front three and the two substitues did really well … but well .

  263. We put a great run together only a few months ago, however the pressure was largely off the team then. We did the hard work, but as soon as we are under a bit of pressure in the last few weeks we have reverted to type of threw it all away. So frustrating.

  264. This can’t be entertainment, i feel like a living corpse, once norwich equalized i felt empty, dead inside – O God make it stop.

  265. Bradys right foot

    We were awful first half and missed 4 great chances to make it 4 so please don’t take this as an excuse for possibly the worst 1st half of the season, it doesn’t excuse some poor defending, it doesn’t excuse some poor game management but we did enough to win the game however the referee decided that the laws of the game don’t apply to AFC. That was one of the most curious refereeing performances I have ever witnessed. Two very clear and obvious stonewall penaltys denied, Yes there were probably another two clear shouts but i’m talking about penaltys so clear that any doubt is removed.The Ludy handball and the shove on RVP from two yards out who misses an open goal how on earth were they not given, anyone who doesn’t think were being shafted WAKE THE FUCK UP.

  266. Limestonegunner

    Welcome back, Andy. Been asking after you.

  267. Horrible result..
    Just horrible..
    How can the ref not give that pen?? As if RVP was gonna trip ovew himself in front of an open goal..

  268. I love TV5, but where the fuck was he going for their 2nd goal? And as he had stayed upfield why did nobody think to fill in for him? It is unbelievable that a team can make those types of basic errors at this level.

  269. Fuckadoodledo. Can’t imagine Villa doing us any favours but have to hope.

    I only have a small amount of belief that we will beat WBA at home – not a good place to go and get 3.

    Oh Arsenal why must you torment me so?

  270. Limestonegunner

    I’m totally shattered and exhausted by this season. The emotional rollercoaster takes its toll.

  271. pedantic george

    Well if you think we missed Arteta ,wait until you see how much we miss Robin.

  272. Look, there is no need to analyse this game, we defended like amateurs, everything was fucked up, it was just heartbreaking

  273. Limestone – Cheers mate. Been a busy few weeks. Got promoted, and on the same day I found out, we went away for a few weeks in the sun. I watched the Stoke game in a bar on the beach (imagine my joy).

  274. I agree with Brady!

    And what’s with the fucking gloom?

    Newcastle won’t win at City. And anyone who thinks Chelsea are going to win the champions league is forgetting how Chelsea has played over the season. Bayern is much more stronger.

  275. Why do you say that George?

  276. Where did you go Andy? Been out testing new fences with your arse? 😉

  277. Tough times, tough times. Hope that someone does us a favor tomorrow when spurs play. We played well in the second half, and had the urgency needed, just could convert at the death

  278. Limestonegunner

    Arteta missing and we have yet to win. There is something to it, undeniably. Look at how discomposed we were in midfield and in shielding the defence. Lacked discipline to stop these Norwich chances ahead of the penalty box. Plus, Chezzer had his worst game in an Arsenal shirt that I can remember. Reminded me of the start of the season. A lot like the Blackburn game at the beginning of the season, but that was an away game. Still in shock a bit.

  279. A mate of mine has an old Aston Villa jersey. Maybe I should borrow it for tomorrow?

  280. The mustard must have been made with f***king diamond!

  281. Limestonegunner

    Congrats, GA. Good luck with the new position. Don’t forget about us little folks! 🙂

  282. Ateeb – there are no guarantees for the CL final – no one gave Chelsea a chance against Barcelona. With 10 men.

    I’m not saying |I think they’ll win but writing them off, as having no chance, is just plain daft.

  283. pedantic george

    Because I really feel ,shit like that will make him choose to leave.
    It was crap.
    Robin must be furious.
    Gibbs, TV Wojo Ramsey ,all were poor,

  284. How can i be so attached to arsenal, what have i done to deserve this – i curse the day i became a fan of football, Damn you arsenal!

  285. The worse thing (for me anyway) today was, once we had got 3-2 up, there was only 10mins left. All we had to do was control the game and see it out, but we looked completely incapable of doing that. The team was all over the place and had no structure to it.

    Until we manage to sort this out I can’t see us winning fuck all.

  286. Limestonegunner

    George, we know, we know. Hopefully we win our final game and things turn our way elsewhere. We could finish 5th, but if we get 4th we’ll be watching the CL final quite nervously. I hope that isn’t the case.

  287. @GA
    I agree. We should’ve tried to keep possession more, but we looked incapable of doing it. Whenever they got the ball in the short time that we were up they always looked threatening and things like the Coquelin header that went completely astray surely didn’t help us one bit.

  288. Ha, nowhere exotic. We went to the Gran Canaria for a quick break. Got a car and did some traveling on the island which was really nice once you get into the mountains.

    Moving back to the UK in October as well. Wiltshere is the destination I believe. Shame as we like Germany, but that is the way of the world. At least I can make more matches.

  289. Bradys right foot

    Paul as much as you’d like you cant help but discuss the ref. Holt threw his elbow into Song two yards infront of the ref while the ball was out of play he ignored it, Morrison threw a foream at Kozzer got a booking. 4 Norwich players threw the ball away and he booked 1 Hoolohan. He booked Ramsey but let 6 Norwich players off for the same tackle.He watched Rozzer get wrestled to the ground of the ball and gave a lecture and missed two of the most obvious penalties i’ve ever seen. To our credit our players put little to no pressure on the refs, but it does us no favours. RVP had a two yard tap in, he got clearly pushed in the back, its a red card and penalty. Its a staggering descision by the referee who sadly was the ultimate arbitrar of this result despite our mistakes.

  290. pedantic george

    Fuck it ,media lockdown,

  291. But George, surely RVP will be taking a good look in the mirror? he missed some easy chances. I know he scored the two but a man of his skill should have had more.

    The team just did not perform well enough today.

  292. Limestonegunner

    What about Gervinho being offside and affecting the play for that RvP penalty shout right in front of goal? Is that a legitimate point? Still, if the flag doesn’t go up, the ref should have given it; clear as day.

  293. BRF – All of what you say is true, but Paul is right; we didn’t win today because of our performance. Our defending alone is reason for us throwing the 2 points away. The ref and the missed chances would not even be up for debate if we had defended any better than the Dog and Duck.

  294. Please can there be a ban on the word fifth/5th here, don’t write it again – its disgusting

  295. You are right Brf and I fully understand your frustration. Things don’t even up and it is bull crap to even suggest that they do.

  296. What did Wenger do at half time?

    Why didn’t he pull one of those happy campers off in the first half as an example?

    Too many questions. We have a brilliant squad and everything around it, but we have way too many piss poor performances like this. I’m not talking about games where we give our all and still lose or draw, this was yet another example of a game where for very long periods we showed zero drive or determination.

    Nerves don’t cause you to amble back when the opposition are breaking and leave your defense exposed, sorry, that’s just slapgat (poor, lackadaisical attitude).

    That wasn’t nerves, that was a few players deciding they could take it easy because this was going to be a walk in the park. We’ve seen it time and time again against so-called “inferior” opposition, it’s not new, it’s not nerves.

    Yes, the ref was more than just a bit strange, but he didn’t pick up the ball, run down the pitch, and throw it into our goal. No, that was our midfield who packed out the picnic baskets and got their dicks out in the sun for holiday wank who did that.

    I don’t always agree with GA on refs and cheating, but this was all our own fault, the ref’s performance should not have affected this at all.

    I have an inkling that this whole “patience” thing sometimes translates into a “oh well, someone else will do the grind while I take it easy” attitude.

    Quite frankly, if we miss out on UCL, the players and Wenger have only got themselves to look at in the mirror to answer why.

  297. I blame Dexter and his dreams!

  298. So we still have an end of season collapse. unbelievable.

  299. Conceding three at home to a mid-table side just isn’t acceptable. We had our first choice back 4 playing for the first two goals and Coquelin is not at fault for the third because it came from the left side.

  300. My only thing is we still had the chances to win. We should have known after the 3rd goal to secure the back. If you watch the last goal, everyone was too ready to get forward without securing the back. There was no need to do it.

  301. The team played nervy, I don’t know why but we just didn’t have that spark.

  302. Limestonegunner

    3 points in 12 can be described as a collapse. Return of the spectre of crazily disorganized and error-strewn defending. Stopping this long ball and crossing stuff just isn’t our forte.

  303. “our defending ALONE is the reason”

    Clearly goonerandy, you have put an end to this debate with that ridiculous statement

  304. This match was like de javu, anyone remember the 8-2

  305. Evil, the team was pushing forward too much and to be honest could not get back into position for their 2nd and 3rd goals.

  306. What I want to say is that even though the referee was abysmal, it’s not a situation where we were doing well and he made one massive wrong decision that clearly affected the game in a negative way. It was 2-1 before the referee got around to make his first wrong decision and that was on the other end of the pitch when they should’ve had a penalty. At 3-1, I don’t even want to think how the game would’ve panned out. We du gourselves a hole and we should’ve been able to crawl out of it on our own.

    He was all Norwich in the second half, but nevertheless, as a team that aspires to win something, you can’t concede three goals at home to a mid-table side that has nothing left to play for. Especially when those 3 goals conceded had nothing to do with the referee.

  307. Limestonegunner

    More like the Blackburn loss.

  308. Limestone, yea, thats the one, nobody was interested in defending today.

  309. Limestonegunner

    Sensible, Evil. That’s it in a nutshell. Giving up so many goals is the problem–and let’s be fair, they had lots of other dangerous chances besides those goals. It wasn’t one of those situations that is so often the case where they score their only shots on goal or only real chances. They could have been up 4-1 by the 65th minute. We didn’t start to play until then.

    The Ox sub made a difference and so did Chamakh. 442 actually was working, but we didn’t have the midfielders who can shield the back 4 while still going forward.

  310. MikeSA, yes ref didnt pick up the ball & put it into our net BUT when WE played the ball 2 yards from the goal, he did NOT give an obvious foul.

    As BRF said, its our poorest defensive performance of the season but it does not take away our attacking performance in the 2nd half today & the decisions gone against us. As Arsene would say, “Today we can add a few more to the tape of penalties not given against us”

  311. Limestonegunner

    Getting to 3-2 with only 8-12 minutes left should be 3 points. It is disconcerting that we couldn’t keep possession and force them into a long spell of defending.

  312. Only a tranquillizer can calm me down, words cannot describe how dissappointed and ashamed to call myself an arsenal fan – you would think norwich players were the love children of pele and maradona.

  313. Limestonegunner

    Giving it away in midfield or in our half and then ball-watching. That 3rd goal was a real crime. No reason for it. Great finish, but it didn’t come from anything from Norwich creatively. Just our own mental drop off. Mentally tired and emotionally exhausted while thinking we’ve won it. A lot like after we scored the early first goal.

  314. We were fucking poor. But how come we didn’t get at least one penalty!

  315. Good job we got podolski in already!

  316. Limestonegunner

    It’s 10: 23am; have to live with this the whole day. Terrible these early games when we lose. When we win, it’s brilliant–enjoying it the whole day. Exhausting, exhausting season and the tension keeps up for the very last game.

  317. to be honest, it was really all us after our 3rd goal, we just gifted them one.

    Anyway, I will keep the faith.

  318. Life goes on, suddenly i hope nasri gets a hattrick and villa helps us out – only arsenal can snatch defeat from the jaws of glory.

  319. Yes MJ, a clear penalty, more so than the wrestling claim on Kos (one of the few players to come away with credit), but it should have been inconsequential, it should have been a “fuck you ref” oddity, not something we were relying on for a win that if we had been bothered to turn up for we should have been able to complete.

    Norwich were never going to be an easy game, but if we had bothered to turn up in the first half, we should have pocketed the three points.

    Unfortunately, some of the players thought they could take the day off and leave it to the others to get done, and not for the first time.

    I’m all for supporting the team if they give their all, but this crap of making frankly laughable excuses when we see a pot of piss like that is ridiculous. Nerves?!?! This match? Do me a fucking favor! I’ve seen a nervous performance from us on a few occasions, this was not one of them.

    Right now I reckon there’s more chance of me falling pregnant than this shower of shit getting anything away at WBA.

  320. khalifha – “ashamed to call myself an arsenal fan

    Then you need to perk yourself up my man. Frustrated yes, ashamed never.

  321. Khalif,
    Lol, your overreaction actually makes me feel slightly better

  322. Limestonegunner

    Anyone care a rat’s whisker for the FA cup? Why wasn’t this game, the only one today, scheduled tomorrow along with everyone else? No respect for the cup final!

    And I don’t think the team actually woke up until the second half.

  323. We know for a fact that Newcastle wont win against city, maximum it will be a draw so I guess 4th is secured as long as we win at WBA. It’s all about what Spuds do now

  324. @MikeSA
    So you’d say that SZCZ for example kicked the ball all over the place because he didn’t care as opposed to feeling the pressure of this being a must-win game?

  325. Get over yourself Khalifha – there are myriad reasons to be proud of supporting this club.

    Especially this club.

    It is NOT over yet.

  326. Why was Wenger not able to motivate this bunch in a game this important?

    We have one of the best squads in the world, injuries or not, so what keeps going wrong in winnable games when the chips are down?

    I have all the time in the world for Wenger, but there is something fundamentally wrong with the mental approach of this team (and several previous iterations).

    Wenger needs to sort this out. Maybe display a bit of a nasty streak once in a while.

  327. Limestonegunner

    Always proud to be an Arsenal supporter. Often quite sad or disappointed; sometimes angry, but never ashamed. Let’s pick ourselves up and cross our fingers tomorrow. Still some twists and turns possible in this extraordinary and crazy season.

    But, if we play like this away to West Brom, it’s not going to happen. So that’s the key for us; we must bounce back and keep ourselves in the hunt.

  328. I wonder why United were not motivated against City?

  329. Limestonegunner

    Wonder what Arsene is saying about this…

  330. time to forget about football for a while.

    this guy has us english down to a fukin tee.

  331. Yes, exactly. No time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve f*cked up, we need to put things right against WBA. But I’d really hate to have to watch the CL final fearing for the worst…

  332. er…what this then no vids!!

  333. People are acting like they know

  334. Bac has a broken leg and misses the Euro’s. Horrendous luck.

  335. Evil, I gave you clear examples of why this was a careless performance, or do a bunch of players jogging round the pitch like it’s a warm up while the opposition break at a full sprint strike you as something else entirely?

    I can live with a player trying to move into a position in a one two and losing the ball, I can understand a player getting the ball in a tight situation and losing it.

    I can’t understand a player having to stop and pass the ball sideways or backwards because no one ahead is trying to move into space.

    I cant understand a player drentling on the ball and losing it either because he hesitates too long or no one else bothers to call “man on”.

    I can’t understand a player jogging back to defend when the oppo breaks.

    I can’t understand players not bothering to press high up the pitch to force a hurried pass from the oppo (they sure as fuck do it to us are we just too good for that?).

    Bad passes and poor kicks happen. Quite frankly, as an aside, I cringe whenever any of our keepers try and hoof it when they’re not under pressure. I can recall counting Jens punting 11 kicks upfield and us losing every single one in one game, so I’m really not a fan of hoofing the ball upfield from the keeper unless he’s under pressure to clear.

    That said, that’s just bad play, not a poor attitude.

    Sorry, jogging around simply isn’t nerves, thats just complete fucking rubbish, that is lazy fucking drivel, simple.

  336. I think its actually a mixture of nerves and a lackadaisical attitude. Even during our run of good form, we always had a certain lack of defensive organisation (not just from our CBs) that rears it head too often. We see it in other top teams, but much less frequently.

    When is team is as up for it as Norwich was today, that lack of defensive solidity will more often than not, let us down. Ref or no ref.

  337. Guys i don’t give a shit, let me mourn in my own way, ashamed or not i feel empty and not really interested in my choice of adjectives.

  338. Limestonegunner

    Very good call from Phil in Maine (an Aussie, though!) about our players not shooting quickly and confidently with their weaker foot on the ArsenalPlayer postmatch show.

  339. Limestonegunner

    AW has ripped the defenders at the back for that 3rd goal.

  340. I cannot believe that anyone would believe the team came out not caring and lackadaisical. If that is the case, Arsene should sell the whole team and start fresh then. If the players cannot understand the magnitude of games like these, they will never get it.

  341. Has Arsene commented yet? What’s all this about MOTD and Gary Line-Acre?

  342. Limestonegunner

    AW says he thinks Sagna has a broken fibula. Oh dear.

  343. You are in mourning?

    No one has died.

  344. Limestonegunner

    Do the players need to be picked up emotionally for the WB away match? AW replies very tersely and firmly–the players need to focus and prepare very well this week.

  345. Limestonegunner

    The match is dead, but the season lives on.

  346. On the positive side, Gervinho & Chamakh were pretty good today.

  347. Paul, thats what arsenal does to me.

  348. If we wanted an exciting last day, we got it. Every team at the top will most probably have to win.

  349. Our run of good results was achieved with far too many comebacks – defensive solidity has been an issue throughout the season. Early on it was understandable – forgiveable even – but conceding 3 at home (and let’s face it, it could easily have been twice that) is not acceptable.
    Closing out a game is an art form that has been missing from this club/team for too long now – to get back to 3-2 and get done whilst chasing a fourth is pretty criminal but what’s worse is it is no longer surprising.

  350. dissapointment, understood, but mouring is too serious of a word to use for sports.

  351. Limestonegunner

    I hope I heard that wrong, but AW said Sagna will miss the Euros; I just hope he is fit to start pre-season training. The right side is now bereft of two starters: Walcott and Sagna. Most of our attack this season has come from that side. It will be interesting to see what the starters will be next week. Probably Gervinho with Jenkinson or Coquelin behind.

  352. Yes PaulN, Eg-fucking-zactly, that is the whole point.

    Dont ignore the simple facts just because you find it difficult to believe.

    Pray, tell what the fuck you think Song, Ramsey and Benayoun were thinking while they jogged along while Norwich broke for the second goal?

    Hmmm?!?!?!

    Was that “nerves” making them freeze with fear and unable to sprint?

    Were they farting so badly through sheer terror that their buttock cheeks flapped uncontrollably, thus preventing their legs from accelerating them past a gentle jog?

    Perhaps their eyes were temporarily blinded by the horror of the situation and they were stumbling along, unable to tell which direction they were moving in, or where the ball was?

    Should I go on, or can it just possibly be, just perhaps, that the entire midfield three thought it was ok not to bother to follow up?

  353. Limestonegunner

    Paul-N, I didn’t want an exciting last day. I’ve had enough excitement, actually. I’d have derived immense pleasure from us having clinched 3rd with a win today, a Newcastle draw tomorrow and a Spuds loss, thank you!

  354. Jonny, I disagree with you. We have usually seen games out this season. Our defending has been much improved of late. Even though we have no won for a while we have not let easy goals in for the most part. You may be linking past season’s to this one.

  355. Watching koln play bayern, podolski has everything : speed,power,vision – 11million was a bargain.
    At least am happy for rvp, 30goals is an amazing return.

  356. @LG
    Same thing for me. This special brand of excitement we get served as Arsenal supporters is a bit too much for me. I do wonder what being an Arsenal supporter does to one’s life expectancy.

  357. I would not start next week with either Ramsey of Gervinho. Both have been pretty poor for a good while now. Start AOC and maybe give Le Coq a game in midfield.

  358. MikeSA, what is obvious? If is was obvious I would say it. The players did care, they played poorly for most of the game. When RVP missed some easy chances was it because he did not care?

    You are gwaan like you want to bully someone1?

    Limestone, I hear you!

  359. Limestonegunner

    Evil, I am sure it has taken a year off my life! I posted yesterday that this season has been like three seasons in one in terms of its intensity. I am limping over the line at this point in terms of supporter energy. I just need a happy little rest with us finishing in third.

  360. Limestonegunner

    GA, I could go for that, but the problem is the Ox isn’t so good defensively and there is no Sagna at RB now–it is going to be someone who may need some cover.

  361. they were out of position and the whole team was for much of the game. They could do nothing about the goal.

  362. jonny its just the pressure. we crumble under it. we really are still mentally (insert chosen word here > inept, immature, naive, feckless,

  363. The things is … no matter how the season ends, the summer won’t be easy. It’ll be full with stories about Theo and RVP. Third place by next week and a double contract extension announcement the day after … then we’d be able to relax.

  364. Koln are getting relegated in the next ten minutes

  365. PaulN, the point is there were some players out there who worked their balls off (Kos, Coq), and some who really found it all a bit of a schlep.

    If it was schlep and they quite clearly couldn’t be bothered, please find some other reason why our entire midfield couldn’t be bothered to muster up anything over a gentle jog getting back for the second.

    That is port attitude, you can wriggle, show disbelief, flutter your eyelids, try and divert the discussion, do anything you want.

    That was poor attitude in a game where poor attitude should simply not have existed.

    Yes, the question is exactly that: If Wenger can’t motivate these players then something has to change, and change dramatically.

  366. the ox isnt good defensivley —-utter tosh,

  367. Limestonegunner

    Evil, but at least we’d get a peaceful rest for a week. If we don’t grab 3rd, those stories will be in a worse frame. I’m confident we’ll have a good chance to extend those we need to if we are in 3rd. But, yes, I like your scenario–would suit me well!!

  368. Billy's Boots

    Football – bloody hell!

    If this was a dry run for a title run-in next season, there are plenty of lessons to be learned.

    Crazy match – could have been any result, really (except 0-0). With slightly better finishing and slightly better defending (as a team), we would have won so many more matches this season. I thought by this time, we had addressed most of our defensive frailties, but Norwich caused us more problems than most teams this season. Credit to them, they worked very hard to close down, employing some of Barcelona’s techniques of leaving men open furthest from the ball so they can outnumber those close to the ball. It was heartbreaking to concede the third after we had gone up 3-2.

  369. @Goonerandy, gervinho had his best match in a while today so i doubt he will get dropped.

  370. MikeSA, it is easy for you to say what they were thinking and how they were feeling and you are sooo sure. Nothing more to be said on my end.

  371. Limestonegunner

    It’s not utter tosh, duke–AW has alluded that it is an area of his game that he needs to work on because of the physical demands; he’s a young player and he’s still developing, which is why he doesn’t often start him and never has him play 90 minutes. If Sagna isn’t behind him, someone like Jenks may need somebody who is stronger at covering.

    I’ve stated that I wanted the Ox starting today because he gives so much going forward, so don’t imagine I am knocking the boy. He’s a delight. Maybe he can start on the left, but then who is on the right if Gervinho isn’t preferred, which is what Goonerandy was talking about?

  372. I just thought we were poor for the most part. We would believe that it is easy but we know there are no easy games in the PL.

  373. Limestonegunner

    Watching Koln, too. Glad Podolski is coming, but not glad if he turns out to be a replacement for RvP because no one is really going to “replace” him.

  374. Predictions guys, i say 2 – 1, what have you?

  375. Dortmund are an interesting case. They’ve already been crowned champions but they still go out against Freiburg and shoot them off the park. I don’t think we’ve seen an attitude like that from any Wenger side. Even the Invincibles had a bit of an end of season collapse where they drew a lot of games. Thankfully we were ahead quite a bit so it didn’t matter in the long-run. But our problems toward the tail end of the season have been persisting for some time now.

  376. Limestonegunner

    I thought Gervinho was ok too, but just not decisive in dangerous positions.

    Koln supporters have let off fireworks of some kind that are producing a massive black cloud of smoke sweeping over one half of the pitch. Saying bye by to Podolski in a dramatic fashion. Ref is calling the game with just a bit of time left.

  377. Limestone, i feel so bad for podolski.
    TThe koln fans just lit some black flares trying to stop the match, the players have been taken off the pitch.

  378. Limestonegunner

    Unbelievable scene at Koln. Phalanx of police on the pitch, shrouded in smoke. Koln relegated, I think. Game called at 4-1.

  379. All the elements against me watching the game today (perhaps just as well?) – plane late landing, hotel room not available, pub not showing the game, Blackberry being an ass and malfunctioning and finally had to rely on a couple of Scousers in the pub to update me.
    But I see all the comments on the BBC and Guardian already talking about RVP leaving now or Wenger going, doesn’t take much does it? But we have had to rely too many times on other teams’ results to bail us out and I can see Spurs being fired up against a piss poor Villa (their supporters took out a full page advert in the Birmingham Mail attacking McLeish).
    Oh and Diaby out until August.

  380. Limestonegunner

    True, Evil. What’s wrong? In days of yore, Arsenal had a reputation for finishing strong. Do we find ourselves physically too tired or mentally not determined? What do you think?

  381. I would advise arsenal fans to stay away from the media, it will only drive us mad.

  382. Limestonegunner

    Most definitely it will be crazy. I’m sure they’ll talk about this game as much as the FA cup final, particularly since the final is scheduled for so late in the day!

  383. Limestonegunner

    I’m rooting for Liverpool. My cousins’ boys are all Liverpool fans, so at least they’d be happy and it means nothing to us other than to see Chelsea lose in a final, which hopefully will presage and prefigure a defeat in Munich.

  384. Paul the fact is that you can’t keep pulling out comeback victories – that we have had to do so, so many times, in order to even be in contention for a CL place, tells it’s own story.

    The job is a lot easier when you don’t let the other team get their noses in front!

    The team that went out today should not be conceding 3 goals against Norwich at home – as I said before, and we should not hide from it, it could easily have been double that.

    Poor Sagna two leg breaks in a season – he must be dsitraught. On first (poor quality) view it looked rather innocuous.

  385. WOW, what a rollercoaster of a ride. Could have done without that. TV AND WOJO. with an off day. This ref. Just didn’t believe in penalty kick, does he?
    Was expecting a much more assured performance. A big let down. Lets hope some of the results from other teams go our way. Mikel being missed big time. Our steady rock in front of the defenders. It ain’t over.

  386. Really?? Talking of Wenger leaving?! Pfffft.

  387. Definately liverpool, my pal is a chelsea fan and nothing will please me more than seeing them lose

  388. Limestonegunner

    Reasonable point, Jonny. Can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat all the time, and certainly doing it twice in a game is asking too much. Once we did come back with two goals to be in a winning position, we have to be able to see out the match. Not conceding two in the first half, of course, to go behind would also help. AW in his post match comments clearly thought the defending was the major issue. Of course he also noted the spurned chances, but pinpointed the poor performance in the first half and the terrible defending by the whole team.

  389. Watching f.a cup preview, i miss days like this so much guys – there are so many fond memories and bad ones, still don’t understand what happened in “the micheal owen final” yukk!.

  390. Amazingly i have gotten over the draw, a mixture of aclf and a lack of any sort of media update on arsenal has raised my spirit.

  391. Limestonegunner

    Both lineups look a bit strange to me. Kalou starting on the left with Lampard supposed to play in central midfield deep alongside Mikel?

    Kenny’s got Henderson on the right–wrong! I’d have Bellamy switched over and Kuyt/Downing on the left, but he never plays Kuyt anymore.

    Suarez could have a big game.

  392. Top 3 Highlights of the season for me:

    *Win against tottenham

    *Win against chelsea

    *Henry’s comeback goal against leeds

  393. While we were coming back we commended the team, now we are knocking the team for them? We did in fact comeback today and then defended poorly again.

  394. Limestonegunner

    Premature, Khalifah. You’ll need to include an RvP hat trick for a win at WB that gives us 3rd! If it happens, however it happens, it will clearly be a season highlight at this point!

  395. Gutted by the result, but Norwich came to play and deserved something for their effort.

    I don’t see the official as a resounding factor as he gave favoring calls for both squads.

    There is no sense in pointing blame at individuals. We have seen the inconsistency with this Arsenal team throughout the season.

    Too much inexperience in our squad.

  396. Limestone, i feel thats chelsea’s best possible lineup bar kalou of course.
    Kuyt should have started, he is a big game player – the formation was skewed, i think henderson will go in the middle alongside spearing with downing on the left.

  397. Limestonegunner

    Don’t understand your comment, Paul. What and whom are your challenging with that statement? What point are you making? “Knocking the team for them”–for what? What is the antecedent of “for them”?

  398. Rvp has his own personal highlight reel.

  399. The team deserved to be commended (great spirit) at the time but it was still obvious that it was not right. To get back to 3-2 was amazing but did anyone have any confidence, at all, that we would not let in another?

    We have all been been here a few too many times before!

    Still, come what may, it’s been an amazing season – there are things to work on and areas of concern but also a great many reasons to be positive.

  400. Limestonegunner

    Arsesession, some good points there. Chezzer, Coquelin, Gibbs, Kos, Ramsey are fairly inexperienced players but Kos has usually been superb as has Chezzer. But today, GK made some real errors–if that had been Almunia or Fabianski, can you imagine the abuse on the forums!?

  401. My intention has been to wait with any far reaching conclusions until the end of the season. I suppose this patience is pointless now (almost). So, here we go.

    Wenger out.

  402. Limestonegunner

    True, Jonny, and the way we were playing never showed any defensive solidity or organization and we never were calmly holding possession, so the whole situation did seem very volatile. But, great spirit to come back, as we have in many games and as we have over the course of the whole season. Just could have done without a dip at this time. 3 in 12 really isn’t what you want!

  403. I was not talking to you Limestone, however when we were oming back they were not a problem and now they are today. To me, too many comebacks had nothing to do with today.

  404. Limestonegunner

    At least, I am listening to Martin Tyler, a proper lead commentator. Don’t know who is his co-commentator. Oh no! It’s Steward Robson– will have to mute it!

  405. My intention has been to wait with any far reaching conclusions until the end of the season. I suppose this patience is pointless now. So, here we go.

    Wenger out.

  406. “The team deserved to be commended (great spirit) at the time but it was still obvious that it was not right”

    *Just to be clear, I was referring to when we were pulling off the insane run of comeback victories.

  407. How can they award incompetence, so mike “i didn’t see it ” dean is the ref for today.

    Liverpool fans showing chelsea up for the plastics they are, you would think this was anfield.

  408. Jonny, today it was not right because of some many terrible mistakes, but other times it has been great. They are not linked together, or should not be in my opinion.

  409. I did not get that feeling at all Jonny. it was rightly commended by all.

  410. 47 goals conceded in the league alone.Who would have believed we would ever have seen the day

    We just cannot be confident of holding on to a lead

    18 years after Copenhagen 94

  411. Brain freeze, the ref is phil dowd not mike dean.

  412. Paul – How can a pattern of conceding too many goals and consequently having to chase games be irrelevant to today? We were 2-1 down at half time no?

    Keep on getting yourself into that position and eventually you get caught out – that’s the point.

    Having got to 3-2 we needed to close the game out and we blew it.

    Still 3-3 is no more than we deserved.

  413. Jonny, this game was poor. No arguments from me but coming back at other times was great character. We had tha today going forward but were bull crap defensively. It is a blasted shame.

  414. Jonny, I was more confident, at half-time, of overcoming a 1-2 deficit than I was of holding onto a 3-2 advantage.
    Still, one game to go and still in the mix … I’d have taken that after Old Trafford,

  415. Limestonegunner

    Oh good, Phil Dowd–he’s very competent and professional!?!?!?

  416. What do you mean by terrible mistakes? We were at home to Norwich and lucky not to concede 6 goals. Plus we had our first choice defence for most of the game plus our first choice DM. That can’t be right and we have no real excuses.
    Man Utd have had key defensive players out all season but I simply cannot imagine them conceding 3 goals at Old Trafford to Norwich. In fact, I can’t recall the last time they conceded three at home.
    All I am saying is we need to tighten up defensively – I do not know why this ios not obvious to you. I bet it is to Arsene.

  417. Anyway, we must do better. That cannot be denied.

  418. Limestonegunner

    Ramires is becoming a fine player. Sorry to say. Deadly on counterattacks with his pace. But Reina should have done better.

  419. And chelsea scores

  420. But the two things are not exclusive we can praise Arsenal for the comebacks and righteously be proud of that – simultaneously we can (and should) condemn the lack of clean sheets that contributed to those situations in the first place.
    There have been too many occasions where teams break on us and are very quickly 2 v 2 or worse.
    We still are seeing moments were we concede a goal from our own corners.
    There is work to be done!

  421. So:

    Newcastle V Man City
    Aston Villa V Tottenham
    Everton V Newcastle
    Tottenham V Fulham

    West Brom V Arsenal

  422. Oh cwap.

  423. Yes but United let in 4 to Everton.

    We played poorly and need to do better. For the last few months we have played well at the back, this is the first game in a while that I am shocked by our defending.

  424. Ok Jonny. We commended them at the time and now it is an issue.

  425. wow no one is blaming the fans for losing today.

  426. Boo
    It’s Boozy.
    Joy abounds.

  427. I suppose I’d better set the Alan SUGA alarm. Draw or defeat, it’s good to know that some things can still be relied upon.

  428. Limestonegunner

    At the time we said it would be nice not to get behind in the first place while we applauded them for their fight and commitment to win despite that. I know I was saying that it was giving me a heart attack as wonderful as it was. That’s why when I attended the home match v. Villa, I was praying for a nice clear and controlled victory, which I was delighted to get and celebrate a clean sheet as well.

  429. Whover comes in to assist Wenger for next season had better call him out on defending as a unit. We have some outstanding defenders but more often than not they are all over the place. The same goes for the midfielders, we had no defensive shape out there today.

  430. Limestonegunner

    But, actually, in contrast to Jonny’s point; the last several games, our problem really has been scoring and we’ve been pretty solid defensively, Wigan apart. ManCity, Chelsea and Stoke we were pretty strong at the back. Today was wild–haven’t seen us so bamboozled since Wigan and before that since Fulham/Swansea games.

  431. @LG
    I don’t know either. I do not think that it’s fitness. I often find that when teams tire we still have something left to give in matches. How often have our phases of dominance come in the last 30 minutes or so? We sometimes give a tired performance, but I feel that is more often down to the lack of rotation we employ rather than our players not being up to the fitness standard. So I think it must definitely be a mental problem, but how to fix that? Looking back, maybe if the squad had won the CC, that would’ve been enough. Proving that they can do it once. Just like with Torres. He’s been shit for over a year, suddenly scores a mighty important goal and looks like a man reborn.

  432. Poor ol’ Podolski sees his home town club relegated.

  433. pedantic george

    If we need Arteta on the pitch for us to keep a decent shape,it begs the question”how thick are the rest?”

  434. Limestonegunner

    Liverpool have looked a bit better but not getting quality creation in the final third. Drogba’s been pretty anonymous.

  435. pedantic george

    I am telling you,without Arteta we are just a bunch of talented headless chickens.

  436. Limestonegunner

    Very good question, PG. That’s why Mertesacker is actually a bit of a miss in that respect, but Vermaelen has fire and goals to his credit.

  437. Manu Utd almost lost to Norwich at OT. Tottenham, Liverpool as well could not win against them

  438. pedantic george surely you not slating arsenal players.

  439. Limestonegunner

    Headless chickens, lol! Sometimes looks like that doesn’t it; but how do you explain our decent showings v. Chelsea and Stoke without Arteta defensively?

  440. You said it george, without Arteta our midfield really backs dicipline. But what it also lacks is someone always available for a pass from the defence. How many times today were all 3 of our midfielders too far away from the defence allowing Norwich to close our defenders down at will with no concern for opposing midfileders

  441. Oh great Boozy has dropped by to impart his laser-like repartee and erudition.

    Can you feel that?

    That was our collective IQ taking a massive dip.

  442. Limestonegunner

    Enrique hasn’t been great here and hadn’t been playing. Wonder why King Kenny has started him?

  443. Limestonegunner

    Arteta is a great recycler of possession. Always available, reliably finds someone in a good position to keep the play going forward, or will keep it until he can find the right pass with assurance. Keeps everyone from panicking. If Coquelin were a bit more experienced, I think he might be able to do some of this. But now we have our RB issues resurfacing.

    We’ll have to find a way next weekend. Desperate for a win.

  444. pedantic george

    I can explain Chelsea easy enough.The didn’t attack.I could have defended against them.And Stoke are just shit.

  445. MJ – ‘almost lost’!

    I’ll admit the scoreline does not tell the whole story but it was still a 2-0 victory!

  446. Limestonegunner

    Fair points, there, George. Alright, headless chickens it is! I’ll let Paul try to comeback on this issue. I’ve been as positive as I can amidst what feels like a very tough day–I’m tired.

  447. LSG – I certainly agree that we have problems at the other end too but today we scored three and that should be enough. instead I am left feeling glad for the point gained.

    We have issues at both ends of the park. Podolski has been bought in part to address one of those problems though everyone needs to contribute more as a team. Defensively we just need to be more organised and not underestimate ‘smaller teams’ by committing too many players forward and allowing them cut us open repeatedly – as happened today.

  448. Limestonegunner

    Instead, I’m going to try to enjoy a game of football in which I really don’t have much at stake. But I have to say both teams are pretty plodding and dire. Even in our loss there was lots of flair for the neutral.

  449. Limestonegunner

    I mean in our draw–bit of a slip thee–it’s how it feels, but maybe the point will matter, so thankful it isn’t a loss.

  450. Lime

    I thought Coq and Gibbs had overall good performances. Kos, much of his and Vermaelens’ performances were impacted by our midfield that seemed to be overrun the entire 1st half and portions of the 2nd.

    Doesn’t matter the quality of your defenders, when they are overrun, you will eventually concede.

    When Arsene fielded teams his first 7 seasons, how many 18 – 22 year olds were relied on every match?

    RvP and Chamakh can play together.

  451. george,

    careful now, you dont want passenal jumping on you do you?

  452. pedantic george

    On a positive note .The substitutions worked well and Chamakh look as good as anyone ,bar TR7 perhaps.

  453. 8th season of failure by Mr. Arsene

  454. Wenger has handled chamakh gervinho and the ox …er…poorly. all three are top players.

  455. “you dont want passenal jumping on you do you” Don’t answer that question. It’s a trap! 😉

    Poor ol Chamakh – that might have been his farewell appearance – just didn’t quite work out.

    He did look decent though today.

  456. This final is too boring, chelsea has gone back to the mourinho days, effective but an eye sore.

  457. Boozy isn’t about time you killed yourself?

  458. jonny boy, would you like pep to take over arsenal next season?

  459. pedantic george

    Boozy,pep<Arsene.
    Now fuck off

  460. Arsene needs to put in another call to the guy who put the salmonella in the spurs lasagna 5 yrs ago

  461. pedantic george

    Why do miserable bastards think we a not miserable enough today,without their help?

  462. mattgoonerknight

    Just got home from the game (live in Cambridge) obviously very down.

    Stew

    I just feel it goes back to the whole issue of having an opinion; bricks in the wall perhaps but surely not worthy of cementing a Berlinesque divide between ACLFites. When people overtly attack or lament our players in public (whether this blog is “in public” is debatable) I’m with you: they should fuck off, shut up and get behind the team. But when people are merely stating how they feel about a players recent performances, then I feel it’s both unfair and unnecessary to wade in with the divisive labels. They might need some education but not thought control!

    Kam

    Had to catch a train to the game so sorry if my lack of a response earlier mystified you. On the other hand, what exactly you wanted me to reply to is equally as mystifying, as I thought I made it abundantly clear what PG had previously posted. I asked you to play Arsene and you then named what you would choose as the starting 11: PG had previously remarked to another poster that the only way they would see their line-up would be via the medium of Fifa12, and I believed this to be the case with your chosen front three. Do you get it?

    Jonny

    Stop flirting; you’ll get us both in trouble!

    Spuds and Newcastle won’t both get full points.

    Bayern for the CL

    Season saved!!!!

    COYG

  463. Limestonegunner

    Drogmonster shows up for first time and scores. 2-0; hope this is their only cup final victory this season! I don’t know if Liverpool have it in them to come back. They’ve really created little.

  464. Boozy go jump off a cliff, pep my ass, which manager would not win if he had messi scoring 70goals a season, imbecile!

  465. Limestonegunner

    Mattgoonerknight gives us all a lift. COYG, indeed!

  466. Limestonegunner

    If AW had the attitude of Guardiola, we never would have had the Invincibles. Would have quit years earlier.

  467. Drogba! He is an enigma, he is not the fastest, not the best technique or movement, always tackling the ball in.

  468. Limestonegunner

    Wow, a Suarez-Drogba clash. Who is faking more that that hurt?

  469. pep<arsene
    hahahhahahahahhaahah

  470. Wow, the two great divers collide i.e drogba and suarez, they both saw the ball and decided to make like phelps and dive

  471. MGK – Never! 🙂

    Boozy – pointless conversation.

    People like you are happiest when you are unhappy.

    I’ve enjoyed this season immensely.

    Carroll scores…grief!

  472. Limestonegunner

    Carroll somehow keeps the ball, going this way and that and finally shoots and scores.

  473. pedantic george

    Who left the back door open?

  474. Limestonegunner

    Let’s go to penalties–that will be fun. Terry to screw it up.

  475. Limestonegunner

    You did with when you went into the yard to watch the headless chickens, George!

  476. Boozy must be the bastard child of tony pulis, why don’t you fuck off to a place where you are wanted, you really are an annoying piece of drogba shit.

  477. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Gutted to hear about the seriousness of Sagna’s injury- and it’s the same leg as before. He made such a difference to the team when he came back after the first one, and was a guiding force in getting us back on track vs Sp*urs at home, IMHO.

    Has any other player suffered two fractures in the same leg at different times in the same season?

    Were our players, especially Ramsey, affected by this? That is, yet another injury on top of nerves, given the importance of the fixture? (Ramsey seems to be having trouble fully recovering his pre-Shawcr*ss form, certainly.)

    Major midfield injuries this season: Diaby, Wilshere, Frimpong, Conor Henderson (last two on fringes of first team). Plus Arteta in the past few games. Meanwhile, Arshavin, Lansbury sent elsewhere. (Did I miss any other injuries? Coquelin?)

    We just have not been able to cope with the loss of Cesc and Na$ri in the same transfer window, along with all of these injuries to midfielders.

    But I still don’t understand why Sir Chesney, Sagna, Kos, Verm and Gibbs couldn’t carry this match, especially as Gibbs got the nod over Santos. Jenkinson not on bench, so Le Coq came on to replace Bac- is Jenkinson out injured as well?

  478. pedantic george

    I would like to make him headless

  479. “Has any other player suffered two fractures in the same leg at different times in the same season?” I don’t know but if ever it was going to happen it would be an Arsenal player.

  480. Limestonegunner

    Coquelin was injured and that was much more important that either Frimps who was out on loan or Henderson who isn’t a first team player.

    We’ve coped pretty well with those departures, though we could have used a midfield creator like Mata who took the money from Chelsea after agreeing a deal with us, apparently.

    We could have used Arshavin the last month. Jenks isn’t injured as far as I know, but with Santos and Coquelin on there wasn’t room for a RB on the bench.

  481. pedantic george

    LG, TR7 has been better than Mata of late

  482. mattgoonerknight

    BTW

    From where I was sitting, high up in the clock end, it looked as if we had a stone wall penalty right at the death – was it a pen?

    I know it doesn’t change anything, but it would at least confirm my suspicions that the ref had an absolute western.

  483. Wonder if this might be Drogba out for CL final..?

  484. Limestonegunner

    There we go. Familiar ground. Drogba scores and spends the rest of the game killing it.

  485. Noope another miraculous recovery…

    I have to wonder if Coquelin might have been a decent choice ahead of Ramsey today.

    Would have allowed Song greater license and bolstered us defensively.

  486. Here comes the controversy.

  487. arsenalandrew

    STILL don’t know who I least want to win or lose this final; possibly the worst pairing I can imagine aside from maybe Spuds v Stoke!

    So it pains me to say I think we need the Scousers to come back into this and rock the Chavs; the LAST thing we want is Chelski going into the final of the CL feeling confident …

    ***

    Not a huge amount to add to the comments re the main game of the day; certainly a head scratcher. I ‘KNEW’ the lunch time kickoff would see us slow out of the traps; I ‘KNEW’ Arteta’s absence could be problematical and we would also suffer from Theo’s absence. I also ‘KNEW’ Norwich would be lifted by the stadium and the fact that it was Arsenal they were playing. I ‘MIGHT’ have guessed the referee would be bafflingly inconsistent and on a bitterly cold day, that we may have picked up the odd injury.

    But I DIDN’T expect Arsenal to be so fragmented in their play and for the whole game to be so difficult. Would have been great to have ended the season at home on a high but it was not to be.

    Still, at least the Norwich fans were able, during the AFC lap of honour, to do a more than passable impression of Gary Linekar disrespecting Arsene Wenger.

    Am looking forward to Gary’s impression of Sir Alex Ferguson on tonight’s Match of the Day.

    After all what is the BBC if it is not about balance and even handedness …?

  488. Limestonegunner

    I agree TR has been great. But not since the beginning of the season when he didn’t play hardly at all for fitness and form reasons. Also Mata has scored some timely goals and created a dozen assists, which would be good production in the position for the whole year.

    We obviously went for him, George, so the boss saw that he would be a good player in this league. And the way we play, he probably would have done even better than with Chelsea. We had to overplay Ramsey, when the two could have rotated–so what is your comment about?! It is no slight on Rosicky to say that we would have dealt better with the loss of Cesc, Nasri and JW if Chelsea hadn’t gazumped us and Mata hadn’t reneged to chase the money!

  489. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, I believe I suggested Coquelin as an interesting possibility earlier in the week but felt it would never happen.

  490. No torres, 50million down the drain

  491. Limestonegunner

    Yuck, Chelski wins FA cup.

  492. arsenalandrew

    Even the Scousers can’t pretend they’ve had a good season now.

  493. Ashley cole would be blessing the day he left arsenal.

  494. That you did sir – I wasn’t sure ho fit he was but he put in a decent shift.

    Great utility player.

  495. Limestonegunner

    The real issue is whether Chelsea has an excellent season. A domestic/European cup double? That is a nightmare.

  496. I wish you’d leave Arsenal, Boozy.

    You’ll be much happier at Chelsea and we’ll be delighted to be rid of you.

    Win – Win!

  497. pedantic george

    Limestonegunner | May 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    On reflection,I think that is spot on.I stand corrected.

  498. Limestonegunner

    So will di Matteo stay in charge? Do we want him to? Or would it be better to have Capello reunited with Terry?

  499. Limestonegunner

    A lot of those FA suits along the medal line only shake the hands of the England players–how strange?!

  500. Why not just give the job to Terry? He seems to be the de facto boss anyway.

    #austeritymeasures

  501. Limestonegunner

    True, Jonny. Think of how big his head would swell if he were made player/manager. Already hard to fit through a door as it is.

  502. Limestonegunner

    Alright then chaps–time to sign off–I think I just didn’t want to be alone to brood about the loss, but it is getting compulsive posting today. Apologies.

    Take it easy and let’s hope for the best tomorrow and a great performance next weekend.

  503. @jonny
    Surely, the very last thing our world needs is John Terry as a player-manager. I shudder when I a just thinking about him leading Chelsea to titles on and off the pitch. We need Terry to spend some time in a small room in a corrective facility. And after that, for all I care, he should just retire from football forever.

  504. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Mata who took the money from Chelsea after agreeing a deal with us, apparently.

    I did not know that, Limestone, thanks. But I imagine he also consulted national team colleagues Torres, Reina about it as well. Were there no Spanish speakers left at AFC at that point? (Cesc, Mérida, Senderos, Henry had all gone, Vela, Joel Campbell were elsewhere. Only the kids in teh reserves, Iggy, Bellerin and the one beginning with T, Arteta not yet signed?)

    La Roja seems to be collegiate, they tend to congregate in one place (except for Silva, who Valencia practically kicked out the door anyway; at least he has Kün and Yaya to speak with- and Kün’s father-in-law.)

    Well, it paid off for Mata- he’s won a trophy in his first season. Maybe another on the way as well, although that would be somewhat difficult to take.

  505. I really am beginning to wonder of we will ever win a trophy again under Arsene. Would this team (or any other iteration) be able to overcome their ‘big game’ phobia to actually win stuff? By big game I mean high pressure game rather than match against so called big teams.

    We won when it mattered earlier in the season, e.g. when we needed to qualify for the group stages, but towards the end of the season, we never seem to have enough in the mental department.

  506. @ matt

    . WOJO
    BAC/COQ. KOSHER. TV. GIBBS

    . ALEX
    . OX/RAMSEY TOMAS
    RVP. CHAMACK. 3GS/BENNY

    my lineup differed from AW only significantly regarding. Gibbs and Santos. and my ideas come from my own thoughts ,not from playing video games. chapichio??

  507. if wenger was chelsea manager today, sturidge would be leading the line, with romeu and miereles would anchor the midfield, and he would have lost.

  508. pedantic george

    Goonerkam,
    Chill out,You have gotten it wrong.
    Matt was not putting you down ,just referencing something I said to someone else earlier in the week.If you had been hear you would have known.

  509. pedantic george

    Boozy,You are in the wrong place her mate. no one give a flying fuck what a tool like you thinks.

  510. i remember our last FA cup final, when arshavin was clearly our best player, wenger rewarded his form with a place on the bench. he does it all the time.

  511. Boozy, your team has just won the FA Cup. Shouldn’t you be out celebrating instead of pathetically trying to troll on an Arsenal blog?

  512. boozy, why not open up a bottle and get drunk. Hopefully by tomorrow you can reevaluate and start supporting one of the mercenary teams around us. Much better for your mental well being if you can cuddle at night with a piece of bought trophy. We will all be happier for it.
    And I am as chill as it gets, keep your panties on.

  513. pedantic george

    That is the Arshavin you call deadwood is it Boozy?

  514. boozy,

    it could be your blessing to swap sides and follow chelsea i reckon.

    george,

    i love it when you fall of the wagon!

  515. mattgoonerknight

    kam

    Your original starting front three:

    RVP. CHAMACRONY. 3GS

    Have you look again, can you really not see that yours is NOT the same as AW’s?

    “and my ideas come from my own thoughts ,not from playing video games. chapichio??”

    That’s cute 🙂

    Let me break it down for you. I wasn’t implying that your thoughts are a bi-product of AI, I was just making the really simple point that the only way you would ever see that starting front three of yours was if you selected it on Fifa; or PES or Championship / Football Manager…..

    Are you young kam? If you are, then I’m sorry for being unduly abrasive.

  516. Sorry Pedantic

    Got to agree with Boozy on this one. We got shape and tactic’s all wrong today.
    Whenever we reverted to the old fashioned 442 things improved.

  517. pedantic george

    boozy, why not open up an artery ,and do us and you a favour.
    Kam,you are not though ,are you?You are falling out with someone because you did not understand their post.

  518. Agreeing with Boozy is like consulting an amoeba or talking to yeast infection.

    If Boozy agrees with you there is roughly a 100% chance you are wrong.

    On which note I’m off to kill some brain cells and dance to loud music.

    Stay positive – COYG.

  519. pedantic george

    Smudge,who made the changes?
    Who ?
    I am sure he cant then be held responsible when his tactics and changes work and the midfield goes missing.

  520. Duke,

    ‘Wenger has handled chamakh gervinho and the ox …er…poorly. all three are top players.’

    I agree with that. Especially in the case of Chamakh who I do think is quite good if given a decent run. We should have seen more rotation. And we are not really sure how RVP will react to playing the whole season (and the Euro) physically. Moreover I think Ramsey could use a loan. A few days ago a friend was pointing out that without Arteta our midfield can’t defend, including Song.

    Gervinhio was fantastic today, great dribbling and crosses/passes into the box. Don’t see why Arsene stuck to playing Ramsey on the left wing for a few games.

    Let’s hope Aston Villa surprises us tomorrow.

  521. Pedantic

    In a game like today’s we should have varied thing’s from the start. After all, results have not be going too well since Arteta’s untimely injury. Something different is what is needed. It seem’s to me that the opposition seem to know exactly how we play and consequently adjust their own tactics to suit.

  522. Smudge

    So switching from 433 to 442 was NOT something different?

  523. @matt
    Your apology for you condescending ways accepted. Enjoy the rest of your wknd and give Percy a hug and kiss for me.

  524. dups

    It was done when we were chasing the game. Why can we not from time to time start 442 . That’s what i’m saying.

  525. pedantic george

    Ha ha ,fucking typical.
    So in your wisdom ,you think we should adjust our game to trick the likes of Norwich.
    Some of our players had a bad day.That is all.
    Arsene can do little about that given how limited by injury we were today

  526. The simple fact is that if Arsenal play to their potential there would be no need to change formation. This season has seen us play superbly good and dismally poor at different times. What we need is some consistency.

  527. Ateeb,

    wenger completely ruined the ox’s good run of form after he was dropped like a hot spud(some say to prevent an england call up), just like chamakh. gervinho needed to play his way back to the way he was playing before the acn but was overlooked like you said by ramsey who will be/is a clever player but its clear he is more suited to a 4-4-2 formation.

  528. dukegoonem the ox was playing very well, the fans wanted him, but to show everybody who’s in charge wenger dropped the boy, whereas ramsey who is going through a rough patch, and clearly needs a breather to access his game keeps getting game after game – Arsene does it all the time- his ego has become bigger than arsenal.

  529. I think you’ll find that Arteta was the consistent link when were have played superbly well.
    Having said that it is plainly obvious that ramsey is lacking confidence and should not be starting ATM.
    Therefore without ramsey/Diaby/arteta/wilshire we are short in the middle so should change to 442 to suit the players that are available.

  530. mattgoonerknight

    Hands up who would be on here tonight would be questioning AW’s handling of any player if we’d held out for another 10 minutes?

    Really? Are you sure you’re telling the truth?

    Still saying yes?

    Bullshit.

    Hindsight is not a wonderful thing, it’s a vehicle for peddling false truths and perceived wisdoms.

    If you felt the urge to comment on how AW has mishandled these forward players but just haven’t had the time to do so until now, until our lowest point in weeks, then fair play.

    When we pulled ourselves back into third by winning 7 games in a row, I was begging that AW would change the front three, you know, start Chamakh instead of RVP, oxo instead of Walcott, things like that, but he wouldn’t listen and to make matters worse, we kept on winning!!!!!!!;)

  531. pedantic george

    Oh fuck off.
    How the fuck does a dimwit like you know who should start and who should be allowed to develop slowly.
    And Duke ,how come Chamakh and Gervinho need to play their way back ,and Aaron needs to be dropped?Why cant he play his way back?And just what the fuck is a 4 4 2 player when he is at home?

  532. pedantic george

    And this”Arsene does it all the time- his ego has become bigger than arsenal.” is the biggest crock of shit yet.Really ,what is your IQ ? I am guessing 50 to 60 range.

  533. simple george. ramsey is not at gervinhos or chamakhs level yet so he cant play his way back to where they can, ramsey is still an apprentice and will not give any type of consistency yet, we have seen it before with flamini the list is long of players doing their apprenticeships in the first team, chamakh and gervinho are not apprentices they are top top players already. ramsey plays better in a 4-4-2 like for wales and his former team cardiff. do you not think a player can play better in a certain formation then george?? and i never said ramsey should be dropped just he should not be infront of gervinho.

  534. pedantic george

    “chamakh and gervinho are not apprentices they are top top players already.”
    Ok Duke .well is AOC an apprentice or already a top player?You have defeated your own argument .Thanks Duke,saves me a job.

  535. Good point MGK,

    To be fair, many (including some regulars on here) expressed similar concerns during our good run.

    Water under the bridge now imo, our problems are way beyond squad management anyway.

  536. pedantic george

    “our problems are way beyond squad management anyway.”
    Go on then Henristic .Give us the definitive list then?

  537. Lets face it guy’s,once again our destiny was in our own hands and we couldn’t finish the job, something all too typical of Wenger’s teams to be considered a coincidence.

  538. no geroge the ox was having a good run of form and was dropped , i said nothing about him playing hs way back….dont try twisting things mate.

    anyway you just be worried about when pass gets back!

  539. The only reason we are in champions league contention this season, is because of a rare injury free season by rvp – a miracle that has kept us competitive, take out rvp form this arsenal side, then defending wenger would look so foolish.

  540. pedantic george

    Smudge,That Invincibles team got the job done in the end eh?
    Or was that not a “Wenger” team?
    United failed to get the job done last few weeks,out of there hands ,Fergie must be useless following your dickhead logic.

  541. pedantic george

    No Duke,I am just worrying that a decent bloke like you aligns with these other stupid pricks.

  542. those players who were never good enough, who have hardly been seen all season are really earning their stripes now aint they..

    too many players just collecting a wage + too many first teamers injured + end of season = arsenal collapse..

    we only have ourselves to blame for this we should have had it wrapped up v wigan..
    wba is going to be tough..i cant see us winning that either..

    lets hope bayern beat chelsea cos i think thats our way in..

    what a season..its taken a few weeks longer than normal but the valium is useful at this time of year…

  543. George

    Just a waste of time. They’ve wanted AW out for ages.

    I wonder if they still have their black bags. 😆

  544. pedantic

    Are you comparing our sides of the past 5 years with the Invincibles and the Manc?
    Priceless.

  545. george you know me, im just making my points, im here all the bleeming time moaning if we lose(or bugger things up) or praising when we win or scrape by. im sideing with no one.

  546. dupsffokcuf

    what i’ve wanted for ages was to see wenger become the first arsenal manager to win the champions league.

    when i still liked him, till the end of last season it became clear he would never win a trophy for arsenal again.

    And hard as it might be, i realized he needed to be sacked, delaying it could be disastrous for the club.

  547. pedantic george

    We need a manager like the 8 Chelsea have sacked.

  548. “And hard as it might be, i realized he needed to be sacked, delaying it could be disastrous for the club.”

    You realised he needed to be sacked. Most disagree with you so therefore your realisation is irrelevant.

  549. mattgoonerknight

    Henristic

    I’m not even sure I can figure out what the concerns / criticisms are / were?

    I was pretty vocal back in January about my desire for the boss to bring in genuine back up for RVP (I was gutted we didn’t get Podolski in the transfer window) but I’m miffed at how and why these “observations” are being brought up now. Was there really anything wrong with our set up today? Was today’s defeat, I mean draw, a result of these perceived mishandling.

    If Arteta, Diaby, Jack and Theo were all fit, Rambo wouldn’t have played today or half as many games has he has done this season: they’re not / haven’t been, so he has.

    Pre ACN Gervinho was first choice, perhaps ahead of Theo at one point.
    Post ACN, for various reasons (fatigue, loss of confidence), he was not.

    Like I said, if we’d held on we’d all be laughing, we didn’t, so we’re not.

  550. pedantic george

    Matt,
    you go from strength to strength mate

  551. Point is though matt, with the fukin team we got wenger should be winning the frikking league or coming second to city but to be fannying around with the likes of the spuds!! well some mis management must be to blame. injuries have been relatively speaking kind to us this year compared to most seasons aswell so we cant bandy that one around this time.

    it is a huge under acheivement for this squad to be where we are at this point, hands up who at least agrees with them apples??

  552. Duke are you serious about injuries?

    No full backs for 3 months ffs

  553. 1 midfielder out for the season another 1 for most of it

  554. george,

    I prefer the dark you!!

  555. BFG lost for months

  556. pedantic george

    Ha .fuck me Duke .You had us in a relegation battle earlier on this year and now we are underachieving sitting 3rd,Make up your mind you bipolar old git.

  557. Pedantic george and mattgooner i admire your fight but it is stupid to reply boozy and his concubine, they will never listen, all they want is guardiola and the amazing 4-4-2 so that arsenal can conquer the epl and europe then we will live happily ever after.

  558. true dups ( even a good injury season is a bad one though isnt it) but i mean in the run in. i mean our defence today although baks went off its near our best! most seasons it would be the old deadly(for us) duo of djourou and squill with fabs thrwon in for good measure.

  559. Bunch of ignorant ass wipes, boozy i wonder if you were breast fed when you were young, am sure the vodka diet must have rendered you half imbecile and semi illiterate.

  560. mattgoonerknight

    “Point is though matt, with the fukin team we got wenger should be winning the frikking league or coming second to city but to be fannying around with the likes of the spuds!! well some mis management must be to blame”

    Duke, please re-read this and then see if you don’t see luminously obvious irony with this statement.

    The “with the fukin team we got wenger should be winning…” is perhaps the most glaringly obvious contradictory part of your post.

    I’ll leave it at that until you’ve had time to re-read it.

    If you’ve had a few, like I have, then I understand.

  561. as i have said before george if wenger done his business in the summer with the new squad we wouldnt even be in the shit now relying on aston fukin villa or bayern munich.

    By the way just to make things clear i do actually like wenger and do not want him to be replaced…..only if the wife doesnt do the dishes right…….

  562. One thing i won’t do is make excuses for wenger but boozy you sound retarded so its hard to agree with your opinions, stay off the drugs ma man.

  563. pedantic george

    Its on days like this I miss Hunter13

  564. hunter13 the xenophibic nutter, yeah i miss that dude and the agressive hot headed honda civic driving gainsborough69……true gooners though as they never said a bad word.

  565. i can see where dukes coming from..
    generally speaking weve underachieved all season..

    weve been piss poor for the most of it and its been down to the best player in the league staying fit all year, as well as a couple of eye catching, gutsy as fuck, winning streaks thats hepled us out of the shit we got ourselves in..

    its been an exciting season though..
    set up for an anfield 89 moment on the last day..

    ands its fucking shitty that we havent had a pen at home all year and sagnas broke his leg twice in the same season…

  566. mattgoonerknight

    khalifha

    Don’t think I’ve replied directly to Boozy: not interested as it’s uninteresting.

    A tip for you though mate, don’t sink to others level with the “shut the fuck up mudda fucka..yadayada…” . Kind of gives you no where to go. Do you know what I mean?

    PG

    Thanks. We often have, and will continue to, disagree on many a topic, but it would seem that we’re singing off of the same hymn sheet tonight.

    I was looking for positivity tonight as I felt really low leaving the stadium; at least I’ve found it in some quarters!

  567. Am as frustrated as any arsenal fan but …. Okay, i got nothing.

  568. barca are sending off pep right now, some of the fans are weeping – i dont think that would happen when wenger gets sacked – the send off i mean.

  569. jj,

    Have i ever said you are a clever fucker!

  570. Patrick Vieira ‏ @OfficialVieira

    Dark for Arsenal today, it’s not like them to drop 2 points at home. I wish Sagna a quick recovery, his injury had a real effect on the game

    So even PV4 thinks Bak’s injury affected the game. Still what does he know about football!

  571. Mattgooner, no way man, you can’t talk in a civilised manner with animals, sorry i meant people that you can’t stand.

  572. Wow, what a scumbag.

  573. pedantic george

    Bozzy.
    Arsene will never ever be sacked.So what are you going on about,
    Do you understand? Never ever ever!!!!!!

  574. mattgoonerknight

    See, you’re doing it again!

    Educate, don’t hater- ate:)

  575. Well Smudge we actually went to 4-2-4 with Gervinho and Ox on the flanks, Chamakh and van Persie through the middle.

    And Ramsey played reasonably well, dropping back into the deeper midfield role most of the time. Also Coquelin did well at right back whilst Rosicky was MOTM. Ox was bright but let’s be honest it was a pretty woeful match from an Arsenal point of view. Aside from the first two minutes and minutes 70 – 85.

    Not impressive was Alex Song whose distribution was, aside from a few passes, poor whilst his attitude was for the most part, antagonistic. Equally unimpressive was Szczesny whose distribution was as bad as I have seen for a long time from an Arsenal goalkeeper, including being too hasty.

    But even they were not as bad as Mr Taylor, the referee who started brightly and descended into the mire. Whilst Arsenal emerged from it, he didn’t. Indeed he got steadily worse as the match went on.

    But the worst, the worst, was those who could even be arsed to stay to the end and acknowledge the team. Way to fucking go, as our US chums might say.

  576. your not so bad yourself dukey

  577. sorry boozy but come the fuck on. pep has won a few trophies but wenger has built a fukin legacy with us, show some respect even if you think he is no longer a winner he is still the most influential man in Arsenal’s glittering histrory. althouh i am critising his actions in the squad this season he will go out with a bigger bang then pep the quit when the gowing gets tough guairdiola..

  578. I have always understood the frustration of some fans in regards to wenger even though i don’t support it – i have never been able to understand the level of disrespect towards him – The longest serving and most successful manager in our history has been reduced to a scapegoat by fans like boozy, let me reiterate it incase your peanut sized brain cannot comprehend the fact, wenger is the most successful manager in our 125 history and has resided over the toughest period we have faced as a club due to the building of our stadium yet he is receiving such insults, wow!

  579. pedantic george i’ve told anyone who cares to listen that wenger would not go beyond next season.

    next season would be like a gift/thankyou for all he has done for the club.

    The fans would sack him.

  580. no matter what happens with AW, whether he takes us further or takes us backwards, we should be naming the stadium after him..at least a part of the ground

  581. ‘Pep has won a few trophies’

    hahahahhhahahaha

  582. Boozy

    I don’t presume to speak for all fans. Get your ego in check, neither do you. Next time you say, “The fans would sack him”. Reword it so that the minority who want him out is reflected in your statement.

  583. Mike sa was pissed off earlier with the midfield and their attitude, i tend to agree with him, song did not leave 1st gear in the 2nd half and ramsey distributed the ball very well but tracking back or following a runner was non-existent from him and don’t even get me started on vermaelean.

  584. most gooners i meet dont want wenger sacked. infact all the gooners i meet dont want wenger sacked.

  585. we miss arteta
    anyone would have thunk he was our captain..
    we have no cohesion in the middle when he doesnt play…
    a massive presence hugely missed..

  586. yeah boozy like wenger won a few trophies when he first came to us.. shame pepe buggered off when his collar got to hot to see if he could carry it on. i wouldnt want a nicorrete taking pep near our club, fuck that.

  587. YW i;m so sure of what i’ve just said.

    i’m not some sort of expert, but its just good deduction.

    So except some drastic changes happen, wenger would loose the confidence of the fans- the board would have no choice.

    which ever way wenger would not be arsenal’s manager for 2013/14 season.

    its not a prophecy, its just good deduction.

  588. I honestly think boozy is on drugs, he has come here to make our lives as miserable as his, what do you gain from been here boozy? – the little brat is just looking for attention and we are giving it to him.

  589. pedantic george

    Boozy

    I don’t presume to speak for all fans. Get your ego in check, neither do you. Next time you say, “The fans would sack him”. Reword it so that the minority who want him out is reflected in your statement.

    Alternatively.Just fuck off.
    I am sorry ,but his ilk make me nauseous.

  590. wenger out then

  591. No it’s bad deduction because you’ve got people arguing the toss with you over it. Thus you do not speak for Gooners and don’t ever presume that you do.

  592. whos the new gaffer?

  593. Boozy is just unhappy that he, and his black scarf mates, have been unable to change the majority of Arsenal fans minds against AW.

  594. Arterta allows us to control the game but i refuse to believe we conceded 3goals because he was not playing, how can one player disrupt a team full of world class internationals, the whole team and management were incompetent today, end of.

  595. pedantic george

    On the other hand YW he most likely speaks for all extremely stupid gooners.

  596. George

    He speaks for certain blogs & fanzines. None worth naming

  597. pedantic george

    Khalifha,Now you are talking shit.End of.

  598. ok we’ll see, goodnight gooners

  599. YW

    I thought the ref today was gutless. Never showed any authority and bucked every major decision.

  600. I wonder if boozy is actually Paul Merson. He talks as much sense.

  601. i think the problem weve had this year is our midfeild is full of individuals who are all trying to audition for the role of cesc
    even the likes of song are moving further up and trying their hand at the perfect assist..

    problem with that method is that it leaves gaps in the midfield…arteta was here for about a month and he saw what was happening and he stayed back and controlled it..gelled the unit together..

    we got better and now hes out..
    its gone back to how it was at the start of the season..

  602. The first goal benayoun failed to track the norwich fullback and left gibbs with a two on one situation, the resulting cross led to szesney spilling the ball into the net. Conclusion: wenger should have warned benny to track his full back but what else could he have done?

    2nd goal, vermaelean storms forward from defence but leaves a gapping hole in the defence, song fails to cover for him as the defensive midfielder and we get countered with norwich scoring through a deflection. Conclusion : wenger cannot be blamed, maybe should have told song to maintain his position in the absence of arterta.

    3rd goal: vermaelean leaves his position which leads to space behind, norwich exploit this and scores. Conclusion:wenger could have done nothing. So stfu.

  603. I know the result is awful and etc… But I pray to god that corruption wont favour towmorrows game! So fuckin tired of constant decisions going against us! Aston villa might get a draw but the 1st goal will be crucial! Newscatle I fear the ref might screw city up for that ! Howard Webb appointed ref Ffs! Ramseys attitude was disgusting I like the lad and believe in his ability but…. Coquelin a dead starter 4 me and push song foward when he goes anyway! Stick djourou right back and Walcott will be back aswell!

  604. So one thing is clear then, the press was right, we are a one man tesam, just they got the wrong man!

  605. pedantic george

    Andrew.why not Jenkinson at RB?

  606. Pedantic, don’t tell me that, did you see the defending, geez man!

  607. pedantic george

    You got that right
    He is doing well at Zenit though

  608. Adios, goodnight.

  609. pedantic george

    Yes khalifha ,But you included everyone.
    And not all were at fault.Most,perhaps,but not all.

  610. A Liverfool fan on twitter

    “At least we dont need a new no.9. Turns out the one we have (Carroll) is f**king awesome.”

    At £35 million he fucking should be. Pity he isn’t.

  611. I just think he hasn’t had enough game time at all! I like the guy tho but can see wenger putting him there! In such a big game..it’s essentially a final tbh!

  612. its going to be tough
    but i did think a win v norwich and a draw last day would have just about done it..
    we are going the long way round, as usual..

    the results went against us in midweek..we need the next ones to go our way..

    it could be another valuable point on the board..

    lets fucking hope so..

  613. I’m with you there JJ

    Still there’s always the Europa League. 🙂

  614. Back in September I (and many others) would have been happy to even be in a Europa place. How things change.

  615. Fuck the Europa league insane champion league. We fuckin deserve! Wev been screwed by decisions against us all season there no way we dont deserve 3rd or 4th!! Have faith in city 2norrow guys! And hopefully villa:/

  616. Just think if we had spent over £100 million last August we could have won the Milk Cup (on pens).

    Spend so fackin money Arsene.

  617. Clerkenwell Gooner

    no matter what happens with AW, whether he takes us further or takes us backwards, we should be naming the stadium after him

    Spot on, JonJon. Can we call it the WengerDome? WengerWonderland? (Kroenke would go for that, I bet. Stick a bloody Wal-Mart in it, he would.)

    Serious, though, what to call it? Everything is mostly named after streets over here, or districts- Bramall Lane, Elland Road, Anfield, so dull.

    I’ve always liked the idea of El Sardinero, named after a fish, but also get the sense you might be a bit squashed in there, sardines, because it’s such a popular place.

  618. Fukin just watching the highlights…thats a fecking stonewall pen!! pah.

  619. By my count three penalty claims by us and one by them went unheeded by the ref. I guess in this game the calls didn’t Even out quit Evenly.

  620. goonerkam

    I am well pissed and your last comment made perfect sense. 🙂

  621. I know exactly how you feel man. I’m not saying we were perfect or that there isn’t areas of our game that can’t use improvements or refining. But that was as pathetic and gutless a performance by a referee that I have seen since. The Newcastle game last year. A clear hand ball violation. A bear hug and drag down on kosher in the box. A trip and a push into the net of our captain. Three pens and none given. We did enough to win that game and we were foiled. Again. At the most critical time in the season. And now we have to watch others and wait for favorable results. On top of that ,having to see and read crap from individuals hell bent on seeing the club fail so that they can get rid of coach and manager. A wish they have secretly or openly harboring for years. Individuals no where to be found when the team and club are doing well. Opening their trap and pushing buttons left and right. Their plans are clear for everyone to see and they dare call themselves supporters. Backstabbing two-faced sons of b•••••-.
    We will build on top of this and improve, I’m sure of that. It is one sure way to get rid of snakes in the grass people.

  622. Oh well. Keep the chin up and take care of WBA.
    ABOUT all we can do and hope for favorable results in other pertinent games. Starting with today. 3rd or 4th . Hopefully 3rd. We have earned the right, IMHO.

  623. hmm i find myself torn between wanting Newcastle to send Nasri out of the title race and us clinging to 4th spot. Its a very unplesant choice.
    I guess we have to hope for city working their magic now.. and to be dependent on city. that suck monkey balls…

  624. Please tell me today is saturday.

  625. 9gerianGunner

    what we are experiencing in midfield is similar to the Viera/Fabregas of 2005.Viera couldn’t simply stay back and do all the dirty work while Fabregas had no defensive duties.This is what is happening with song/Ramsey.song realises he can put a beautiful assist while Ramsey is not playing with defensive duties causing enough space in midfield.Without being in the dressing room I believe the duo do not relish playing alongside.or why did the team improve dramatically after the changes?

  626. I watched the match again*without shitting my pants* so i think i can give a very balanced view – When norwich were 2 goals up they had 4 men against our 4 defenders in open play, turns out when you have nothing to lose you actually play like there is nothing to lose e.g arsenal/milan – the team was not expecting that, neither was i!

  627. 9gerianGunner

    Its not as if arsenal cant win without arteta rather you can say we need midfield cover for song.someone who would do some pretty good marking and closing down.In the win against city it was arteta who closed down and won the ball before finishing of in style

  628. 9gerian, yes and no, yes arterta helps in closing down, and no that song can’t mark players on his own – but you are hundred percent right, song and ramsey do not play well together, neither of them were defensively minded enough especially ramsey – once norwich was on the attack we had to resort to last ditch tackles, there was no protection for them.

  629. 9gerianGunner

    I guess they played with nothing to lose but I think Mr song is not happy doing all the dirty work in midfield while others get the ball and lose it again.I believe song has a lot of respect for Arteta unlike Ramsey. you could see that in his eyes when he was tracking back for the 1st goal.song wasnt the one jogging rather it was benny and ramsey

  630. Them meaning the Defence

  631. 9gerianGunner

    see you in todays post khalifha

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